T.K. Blue, HSA Dance, celebrating Ella
Ron Scott | 5/12/2017, 5:32 p.m.
The multi-saxophonist, flutist, composer and arranger T.K. Blue has an unwavering sound that grew out of his parents’ Afro-Caribbean roots.
His playing and touring with South African Chris McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath Big Band and with pianist and composer Abdullah Ibrahim, and working as musical director and arranger for Randy Weston’s African Rhythms ensemble for more than three decades, has showered his musical arsenal with a rainbow of African rhythms.
May 15, Blue, who has been exciting fans and inspiring young musicians around the world, will bring his ensemble to Harlem’s Dino, upstairs above Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (700 W. 125th St).
Although Blue’s saxophones and flute are filled with four decades of music to share, on this visit uptown he celebrates the release of his CD “Amour” (Dot Time Records), his 11th CD as a leader.
Some of the stellar musicians from the album who will join him are harmonica player Gregoire Maret, bassist Essiet Essiet and pianist Zaccai Curtis, with special guests (not on recording) drummer George Coleman Jr. and percussionist and conga player Chembo Corniel.
“Every song on ‘Amour’ is related to when I lived in Paris [1981-1989],” said Blue. “I have so many beautiful memories during my sojourn in Paris and I met so many incredible people, who were extremely instrumental in helping me along my journey. In addition, ‘Amour’ is my humble tribute to my mom, Lois Rhynie. She brought me my first instrument and always kept me going. She visited me often in Paris and the South of France on the Cote d’Azur.”
“Amour” also features the vibraphonist/pianist Warren Wolf, bassist Jeff Reed, trumpeter Etienne Charles, drummers Eric Kennedy and Winard Harper and percussionist Roland Guerrero.
The CD includes jazz classics and Blue originals, such as the opening track, “Banlieue Blue,” named after the music festival with an emphasis on jazz that commenced in the 1980s. The tune is a bouncy straight-ahead tune that swings at every turn.
Blue brings a smooth foot-tapping beat to Wayne Shorter’s “Infant Eyes,” leading the charge on soprano saxophone as drummer Eric Kennedy lends a persuasive undercurrent. “A Single Tear of Remembrance” composed and arranged by Blue has been recorded on three previous CDs.
“What makes this version quite unique is the outstanding piano solo interpretation by Warren Wolf,” said Blue. “He truly captures the essence of this song and its dedication to the memory of my departed mother.”
In Blue’s arrangement of John Coltrane’s “Resolution,” the second movement of his legendary suite “A Love Supreme,” he takes to the flute as opposed to the soprano saxophone and incorporates the rhythm section with percussion and harmonica. “Amour” boasts 11 tracks riding on Blue’s wave of creativity that brings his unforgettable journey to life.
His straight-ahead rhythms and Afro-Caribbean beats will have Dino music room smoking. There will be two sets, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Felipe Lucian will be the show’s host. For reservations, call 212-694-1777.
Harlem School of the Arts Dance Department, under the direction of Aubrey Lynch II (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Disney’s “The Lion King” on Broadway), will celebrate the dance community within Harlem and beyond.