LIVE: Sketches of Influence @ Lucas Confectionery, 11/16/15
Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
The Piano Jazz Queen of Greater Nippertown, Lee Shaw was a mentor and inspiration to so many jazz musicians throughout the Local 518. Joe Barna was one of them. Her recent death inspired the drummer to compose a six-part suite dedicated to her memory.
Last month, Barna slipped behind his drum kit to offer the premiere performance of “Suite Lee” at Lucas Confectionery in Troy with his band Sketches of Influence, featuring pianist Dave Solazzo, alto saxman Adam Siegel, bassist Dylan Perrillo and guitarist Mark Kleinhaut.
Barna penned five of the suite’s six songs in the suite during the week following Shaw’s death on October 25 at age 89. The other composition, “Ivory Romance,” was recorded six years ago and originally released on Barna’s 2011 CD, Blow It Out.
The compositions spanned the wide range of jazz styles that Lee had total command of in her repertoire:
1. “Thelonious Lee”: A tune much in the style of Thelonious Monk. All members of the band had a chance to stretch out and show their chops in the style of be-bop.
2. “Because of You”: A bossa nova with a soft, lilting beat featuring solos by Dave Solazzo, Mark Kleinhaut and Adam Siegel.
3. “Three for Lee”: An upbeat, uptempo composition. Barna used every part of his drum kit. Kleinhaut was riffing the theme to the tune while Siegel and Solazzo each took turns soloing.
4. “Ivory Romance”: Played as a duet by Solazzo and Siegel, whose alto sounded almost like a flute.
5. “Quiet Lee”: A straight-ahead number with solos by Siegel, Solazzo and Kleinhaut.
6. “Swift Lee”: Another upbeat composition, featuring Kleinhaut’s mellow hollow-body guitar tones and Barna’s steady beat occasionally dropping bombs.
Barna is hoping to record this suite in January and is currently crowd-funding the recording project via Kickstarter. This is certainly a project worth supporting.
ALSO: Joe Barna will lead Sketches of Influence (featuring saxman Adam Siegel, pianist Wayne Hawkins and bassist Dylan Perrillo) at 7pm tonight (Monday, November 30) at Lucas Confectionery in Troy for “A Tribute to My Friends and Family,” including original compositions penned for Pamela Barna, Leslie Hyland, Lee Russo, Mark Kleinhaut, David Barna, Saadet Yedic, Tom Pierce, George Muscatello, Lee Shaw and others. Admission is FREE.