LIVE: Henry Fernandez Quartet @ Jazz on Jay, Schenectady, 08/19/2021

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Jazz on Jay continues in Schenectady rain or shine. This Thursday was no exception. Recent Oberlin graduate Henry Fernandez led his quartet of veterans through an hour and a half of veterans of the local jazz scene of music consisting mostly of standards with two originals penned by Henry.

The quartet played its heart out even though the audience was unusually sparse due to the rain. 

The band opened with “From the Top of My Head” a Roy Hargrove composition. Fernandez proved to be a generous leader in this piece and throughout the set by allowing all his band members to shine both in accompaniment and generous solo space. Luke Franco playing melodious solos on guitar, Tarik Shah walking his bass sometimes dancing his fingers across the instrument and Matt Niedbalski not only keeping the beat with adding embellishments across his kit, using sticks, brushes and mallets as they were best suited to add to the piece.

John Lewis’ “Milestones” followed. This is the bebop composition written for Miles Davis, not the modal composition that Miles himself put out.

A Miles Davis-influenced version of Cole Porter’s “All of You” followed.

Two originals ballads followed. One was so new it was untitled, the second was “It is Written”. 

“The Way You Look Tonight” brought cheerful thoughts on a rainy day. “Round Midnight” was played with emphasis on the melody with Tarik Shaw showing his skill bowing the bass. This led to a lesser known Monk ballad, “Ugly Beauty.” The set closed with the uptempo Charlie Parker composition “Chi Chi”.  

The series continues next Thursday with award winning internationally known baritone saxophonist  Claire Daley and her quartet.

Photo Gallery by Rudy Lu

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