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Jazz Alive! Series: Paul Biondi – “Fly me to the Moon” – Thu, October 23, 7:30pm – 10:30pm

Paul Biondi

Paul Biondi

Popular saxophonist Paul Biondi is joined by special guest Neal Grandstaff with a quintet featuring Gus Russell on piano; Bryon Case on bass, and Merlin Showalter on drums. Eugene’s show master Biondi performs in his inimitable way!

New West Guitar Group – CD Release! – Fri, October 24, 8pm – 11pm

“Exhilarating and deeply beautiful….the playing is consistently superb”
— CD Hot List

Featuring Perry Smith, John Storie and Jeff Stein, New West Guitar Trio has been making their mark as a fresh, cutting edge guitar ensemble. Based in Los Angeles, their music combines the foundation of jazz with elements of blues, rock and folk.

“Big City” is the 5th studio album (Summit Records) released by this Los Angeles­‐based trio. The CD features a sophisticated sonic soundscape showcasing hot original tunes and captivating covers of Tears for Fears, Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell and The Police.
Praised as “sharp and refined” by the Sea,le Times, New West Guitar Group infuses its latest disc Big City with its signature blend of laid-­‐back virtuosity and expert arrangements that “sometimes verge on the orchestral” (All Music Guide). The album, the group’s fifth studio disc and second released on Summit Records, drops on September 10th, 2014.

“Big City” follows their critically acclaimed Round Trip Ticket” (2011), described by Downbeat as “an open-­‐spaces, sunlight-­‐dappled record that feels like it was recorded in plein air, with the three musicians surrounded by Redwoods.”

In Big City, New West sets out to find serenity in the midst of a thriving, frenetic metropolis. With their infectious pulse and driving rhythms, original charts like “Every Big City,” “Inspiration Point, “Train Bump” and “Pacific Blues” capture the urban hustle, while the more tranquil tunes—“Mission Creek,” “Proud Day’s Work” and “Evergreen”—offer contemplative respite.

Intricate yet faithful covers of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (Tears for Fears), “All I Want” (Joni Mitchell), “Bleecker Street” (Simon & Garfunkel) and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” (The Police) surface throughout the disc, like favorite songs emanating from open windows and evoking wistful memories.

The three members of New West—Perry Smith, Jeff Stein and John Storie—share composing and arranging credits on the album. Firmly rooted in classic jazz, the trio’s versatility as both players and composers has given them a reputation as pioneers in the realm of guitar ensemble repertoire. Acoustic Guitar magazine praised the group for its ability to shift seamlessly “from chamber-­like elegance and fragile introspection to exhilarating swing and gritty blues.”

“Big City” fully embraces this open­‐minded quality and showcases the group’s in5mate understanding of the guitar’s melodic, harmonic, timbal and percussive capabilities. The sonic pale`e includes acoustic steel- and nylon-­stringed instruments, as well as electric guitars with innovative strumming and fingerpicking techniques.

AWARDS
Over the years, New West Guitar Group has piled up numerous awards and accolades, and has enjoyed broad international exposure. Before they even left USC, they were the first group to receive the coveted Thornton Protégé Grant. During this same period, the Los Angeles Sister Cities Committee honored the group as musical ambassadors of L.A. – which in turn created the opportunity for them to perform at the 2005 World Expo in Nagoya, Japan, and the 2007 German-­‐American Volksfest in Berlin. They have continued to perform in major venues throughout the U.S. and Canada, Europe and Asia. In August 2009, they performed as the opening act for Diana Krall at the Britt Festival in Southern Oregon.

VIDEO LINKS
“Everybody Wants to Rule the World” – https://vimeo.com/70009110
“Inspiration Point” https://vimeo.com/73112170
“Every Big City” https://vimeo.com/70347176
“Big City – Studio Sessions” – https://vimeo.com/73105994
PRESS REVIEWS
-“Beautiful tunes and great musicianship are in abundance”- Elmore Magazine

-“The group’s creativity in not being afraid to stretch boundries is helping to forge a new area of music…”
— Vintage Guitar Magazine

-“Round Trip Ticket is the most polished of the group’s four records…it’s an open spaces, sunlight-dappled record that feels like it was recorded in plain air with three musicians surrounded by redwood”
— Downbeat Magazine

-“Well-orchestrated, cascading six-string work that falls someone between Leo Kotke and Pat Metheny, with a nod to the intertiwing guitar arrangements of The Allman brothers.
— Jazz Times

More Info: http://www.newwestguitar.com

Roger Woods Organ Trio – Sat, October 25, 8pm – 11pm

Roger Woods returns tor only the second time to perform at The Jazz Station, joined by Portland’s Dan Gaynor on keyboards and Ed Pierce on drums.

Tonight’s performance will focus on organ trio aspects of two saxophone giants.

Sonny Stitt and Stanley Turrentine, two of the greatest saxophonist in Jazz history, are also two of the most under-appreciated saxophonists. Both had a major influence on many better-known, great saxophonists, including John Coltrane, Michael Brecker, and John Jenkins, to name a few.

What’s also under-appreciated is the period that both Sonny Stitt and Stanley Turrentine spent performing in classic organ trios (saxophone, organ and drums) during the late 50’s and much of the 60’s. The organ players that both Stitt and Turrentine used in their groups, Don Pattern and Shirley Scott, respectively, were also under-appreciated during their careers.

ABOUT ROGER WOODS
Roger Woods, saxophonist, composer and arranger, is a performance artist who hails from Baltimore, MD and currently resides in Eugene, OR. He attended Howard University in Washington, DC (from 1979-1982) where he attended college mates with noted Trumpeter Wallace Roney, saxophonists Greg Osby and Gary Thomas, and drummer Winard Harper.

While living in Washington, DC (1980-1997), Roger performed with many Jazz musicians, including Freddie Hubbard, Sonny Stitt (in Baltimore actually), Pepper Adams, James Williams, and other top local musicians.

Since moving to Oregon in late 1997, Roger has performed primarily in Portland with many of that city’s top jazz players. From 2002-2004, he co-led a nine piece group, The St. James/Woods Nonet, with Portland bassist Andre St. James. That group performed music of John Coltrane, Cedar Walton, George Gershwin, and others, as well as original arrangements and compositions by Roger and other band members.

Woods has also been a featured performer with the Alan Jones Trio and Quartet, the Andre St. James Quintet and his own small groups, featuring pianists Randy Porter and Dan Gaynor, Bassist Andre St. James, drummer Ed Pierce, and others. He has performed in venues such as The Blue Monk, Jimmy Mak’s, the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival, and on Portland’s KHMD’s “Homegrown Jazz.”