This is the time of year when the live music scene cools a bit, but gentle readers of let’s call this, let nothing you dismay. A sleighful of holiday shows by some of Northeast Ohio brightest vocalists more than picks up the slack. Even if you feel a little Scrooge-y about seasonal favorites, our quartet of singers are here to offer you a cookie tray of holiday treats both salty and sweet. So dig in, dig?
Tag: Tim Lekan
One of the great consolations of hanging around the music business stage door for a long time comes when people who assume that you know things ask you questions. One of my favorites is: Which band have you seen the most times? I love this question because it gives me a chance to talk about Kahil El’Zabar’s magnificent Ethnic Heritage Ensemble, which is also my favorite band.
Now, for the first time since I moved to Cleveland in 2019, I get to talk about an upcoming concert of theirs that I will attend. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 1 at Convivium 33 Gallery, presented by the Cleveland Uncommon Sound Project and needless to say, if you’re reading this, you should go, too (full disclosure: I played a small part in making this concert happen). An Ethnics concert is never less than completely enjoyable and on any given night, it can be a transformative experience.
When he was a student at the Hartt School of Music, trumpeter Tommy Lehman occasionally joined the legendary late-night jam sessions at Small’s jazz club in Manhattan. One night immersed in a solo with his eyes closed he opened his eyes for a moment and found himself face-to-face with the late trumpet player Roy Hargrove, who was sitting in the second row.
Remembering the solo, Lehman said with a laugh, “It sounded terrible,” adding, “I’ll always try my best though. Even if I’m sounding sad, I’m gonna give it everything I have.”
Back in his native northeast Ohio, Lehman is giving it everything he has these days, seemingly playing with everyone everywhere. His latest venture is a new recording, Uplift, which be available on Dec. 21 on Lehman’s Bandcamp page and which he’ll celebrate with a release show at BLU Jazz+ in Akron.
If you pick up a copy of AlbaTrio‘s eponymously titled new recording at Sunday’s release party at Bop Stop—and you should—you’ll hear an impressive showcase for trumpeter Tommy Lehman, bassist Tim Lekan and percussionist Anthony Taddeo. But listen closely and you might sense the presence of an uncredited fourth voice: the spacious yet intimate ambience of Strong Cabin in Lake Metroparks near Madison, Ohio.