The Jazz Expressions
(Jazz Expressions Website)
“Jazz in the Sky”
Terrace in the Sky
400 West 119th Street
Btw. Amsterdam Ave. and Morningside Drive
New York, NY 10027
Hilliard (Hill) Greene on Bass
Aaron Graves on Piano
TK Blue on Saxophones and Flute
Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax on Drums
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
June 27, 2006
(Read a Jazz Expressions CD Review).
(See The Jazz Expressions at Bösendorfer New York’s Jazz Salon).
In contrast to the warm, dry weather for the June 13 “Jazz in the Sky” event, tonight’s event, two weeks later, was thick with darkness and foreboding with wind. But, the rain held off, just until the close of the second set. As always, Terrace in the Sky’s attentive and classy wait staff, bartenders, chef, Jason, and owners, Chris and Nada, were all on hand to insure a high quality dinner and jazz experience on the newly re-opened terrace, with views looking uptown, downtown, across the Hudson, and far and wide.
The Jazz Expressions are the touring band for Jimmy Scott. They performed with tour de force dynamism in a program of original and inspired works. Each musician took a solo, and all played duets and full band accompaniment. Aaron Graves, from North Carolina, attended the Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, prior to studies at Howard University and prior to an NEA grant in jazz studies. He has also studied and performed with Kenny Barron, Earl May, Barry Harris, James Moody, and many other jazz greats.
Hill Greene, from Iowa, has been studying music for more than 30 years, including University of Iowa and Berklee College of Music. He is Jimmy Scott’s Musical Director and a faculty member of the Bass Collective. Hill also leads his own duos and trios at clubs around the globe. Hill Greene has also worked with Cecil Taylor, Gloria Lynne, Bobby Watson, Kenny Barron, Carla Cook, and John Hicks. T.K. Blue, originally from the West Indies, played trumpet, drums, and flute, growing up on Long Island, NY. TK studied music and psychology at NYU and received a Masters Degree from Columbia University. He focused on the saxophone, studying with Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster, and Billy Mitchell. TK toured the world as a performer with Abdullah Ibrahim and lived and worked extensively in Paris. Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax, from Philadelphia, has played drums since Jr. High and studied and taught at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Dwayne continues to teach an NYU course in percussion. (Notes from Jazz Expressions Bösendorfer New York Review).
Aaron Graves brought his electric keyboard, which produced a full piano sound. Hill Greene played an earthy, rich bass, while TK Blue played soaring soprano and tenor saxophones, plus fluttering flute. Dwayne “Cook” Broadnax played with versatility on a complete drum and percussion set, and the imagery of this band, standing before the blackened sky, was quite dramatic.
Tonight’s program included:
The Great One by Hilliard Greene
A Single Tear Of Remembrance by TK Blue
Okums by Hilliard Greene
Dr. T.L.D. by Dwayne Broadnax
Early Time by Hilliard Greene
Blues For Siboney by Dwayne Broadnax
Invocation by Aaron Graves
Harriet Tubman by Aaron Graves
Pinnacle of Joy by TK Blue
According to TK Blue, A Single Tear of Remembrance is about “reflections about loved ones who may no longer be in our life...about a tender moment we had with someone special...about a special love of life or experience that may never happen again”. T.K.’s Pinnacle of Joy was written in the 1980's to celebrate his arrival in Paris. It appeared on his first recording there, "Egyptian Oasis".
Aaron’s lyrical ballad, Harriet Tubman is written in dedication to the American heroine, who bravely helped to free the slaves through the Underground Railroad. Dwayne’s Blues for Siboney is written for his sister. (Notes from Jazz Expressions Bösendorfer New York Review).
There were two sets of original jazz pieces, while the bartenders were busy creating exotic, tropical drinks. Joe Sharone (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided superb sound equipment for this event. “Jazz in the Sky” has a loyal following, as this no-cover, high end jazz venue offers incomparable views and dinners. Guests can also order á la carte tapas, as well as fruit-adorned wines and liqueurs. Terrace in the Sky’s new outdoor space is always open, for lunch, brunch, or dinner, with piped-in music and a menu created by Jason, one of the top chefs in New York.
The schedule for some upcoming “Jazz in the Sky” events, all Tuesday evenings, is below. Reservations are strongly recommended (212.666.9490), well in advance, for a table near the music. Views can be seen from every table, every angle.
July 18, 2006
HARRY ALLEN/JOE COHN
Tenor Saxophone, Guitar,
w/ Harry Allen, Joe Cohn,
Joel Forbes, Chuck Riggs
August 8, 2006
ARGENTINE TANGO TRIO
Maurizio Najt, Piano
Tito Castro, Bandoneón
Nicolas Danielson, Violin