Friday-Sunday, February 15-17: In an age when Aerosmith has headlined major jazz festivals and the lineups tend to be stacked with non-jazz acts, the Hudson affair is micro and boutique, small and intensive and truly designed for aficionados on the cutting edge of jazz aesthetics.
This year’s preliminary lineup reads like a casual FU to hip and an all-in reaffirmation of the festival’s core values.
Not only alcohol but also cards and dancing were prohibited at the original Mohonk (quite a change from the tavern of John Stokes, from whom the Smileys bought the original chunk of property, and who was known to chain unruly drunks to a tree). But the resort also served as the site of numerous conferences and social initiatives that were, by the standards of the time, progressive if not downright incendiary.
Let us put to rest – before we even begin – all debates and squabbles regarding the rightful heirs and owners of the Woodstock Festival tradition, as its 50th anniversary approaches. Brand wars, it seems to me, are not exactly in the spirit of the original event, and in this case, both of the major festivals scheduled for that weekend in August 2019 have a compelling claim. One has the very field itself; the other has Michael Lang.
Bob Berman’s latest book plays right into the shock-and-awe, End Times and catastrophe zeitgeist. Just take a second – or a minute as the case may be – to pronounce its full title in your mind’s mouth: Earth-Shattering: Violent Supernovas, Galactic Explosions, Biological Mayhem, Nuclear Meltdowns and Other Hazards to Life in Our Universe.
The Long Island, then-Brooklyn, now-Saugerties singer/songwriter Laura Stevenson splits her bandwidth just about evenly between a rambunctious, stormy and keenly melodic power-pop on one side and a delicate (though still stormy) chamber Americana on the other.
Friday, January 11: The great, blind British pianist and composer George Shearing lived so long and recorded so much with so many that no one even remembers how he used to be dismissed by the hardasses of jazz. He outlasted them all, and emerged as a pioneer in several respects: as the man principally responsible for the sophisticated “locked-hands” piano technique, and also as one of jazz’s earliest adopters of Latin music.
If the image of a long-haired woman turning her back on the world and running toward the ocean is not already on a Tarot card, it probably should be.
We need special nights, damn it, and until such time as it is all Applebees out there, someone is going to trade ten years of their life expectancy to give them to us.
Saturday & Sunday, Jan 5-6: Miller, the undeniably gifted frontman of the Old ’97s, joins forces with Cronin, the man who would brand New Paltz with his instantly identifiable, brash and iconic paintings.