Singer Meets Saxophonist Christopher McBride featuring Queen Esther Mintons Harlem 206 W. 118th St. Sunday, July 29th Two sets — 7:30pm and 9pm Doors open at 6pm! For reservations, click here. Superb alto saxophonist Christopher McBride has been slowly but steadily turning heads with his ubiquitous work as an invaluable sideman since the mid-aughts. Now Christopher is gaining respect amongst fans, critics and his peers as one of the most versatile musicians in the world. His 2012 debut album Quatuor de Force certainly establishes his ability to front a group and write his own soulful, melodically indelible tunes. Applauded for his ability to play in all musical situations, McBride has the ability to unleash a fiery attack and serrated tone, but on his recent album he explores a more measured, mellow sound heavily influenced by contemporary R&B—with a strong shot of Cannonball Adderley’s post-bop sensuality–but his improvising is very rigorous and cogent. From 1935 – 1939, as the rest of the world waltzed their way through The Great Depression or lindy hopped to big bands, Miss Holiday recorded over 120 sides with some of the best soloists of the decade, including Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Roy Eldridge, Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Cozy Cole, Jo Jones, Artie Shaw, Benny Morton and many, many more. It was John Hammond – record producer, civil rights activist, music critic and aristocrat – who co-organized the very first “sing-swing” session in July 1935 with Teddy Wilson as bandleader when Miss Holiday was merely 20 years old. Armed with her new recording contract for Brunswick […]
Queen Esther Sings Billie Holiday: The Rare Sides Saturday, April 7th — TWO SETS 7:30pm & 9:30pm Minton’s Harlem 206 W. 118th St. 212 243 2222 Musicians: Hilliard Greene, double bass Patience Higgins, tenor sax Dan Rosengard, piano Warren Smith, drums Queen Esther pays tribute to Lady Day on her 1o3rd birthday with a suite of rare sides, reimagined performances, stories and soundbites to offer her take on what most critics consider to the greatest jazz vocalist of the 20th century. A versatile and charismatic performer with a four octave range, not to mention the Grand Prize winner of the 2008 Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Queen Esther continues to perform internationally with her mentor harmelodic guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer in various projects, including his iconic free jazz group Odyssey, as she forges her own sonic path with her jazz collective and her Black Americana outfit The Blue Crowns. Released in 2015, her critically acclaimed album The Other Side – “…the most exciting Afro-Americana album of the year.” (Paste) – is garnering airplay worldwide. Recent performance highlights include: Under The Cherry Parade in a Day (You Sexy MF):Burnt Sugar Arkestra Freaks Prince’s Post Purple Rain Songbook at The David Rubenstein Atrium/Lincoln Center; Hot Jazz Age: From the First Jazz Recording to the Dawn of Swing at Dizzy’s/Lincoln Center; the afterparty for Jason and Alicia Hall Moran’s Forever Gershwin at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC; and the 12th bi-annual Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor’s Island.