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Earl Klugh at the Blue Note July 13, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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It took many years, but last night, I finally saw guitarist Earl Klugh (“clue”) perform live. It’s been 40 years since he made his solo debut with a pair of albums, Earl Klugh and Living Inside Your Love. Most of his early albums were released on Blue Note Records, and the show I saw was at the infamous Blue Note jazz club in Greenwich Village. It was my fourth time at the Blue Note, and won’t be the last.

The show I saw was the first of 12 over six nights. As usual, I opted for the 8:00 show over the 10:30 show.

My sister drove to the Wantagh LIRR station at 3:45 for the 4:02 train to Penn Station. As fate would have it, the 3:27 train was running a half hour late. So, I boarded that train a few minutes earlier than the train I planned on taking.

Just before 5:00, I arrived at Penn and proceeded to the 34th Street subway station for the downtown A train to West Fourth Street. Just like my previous trip to Blue Note for Spyro Gyra, I was so early that I was the first in line outside the club. After 5:30, a line began to form behind me. At exactly 6:00, the door opened and I was let in. I chose my center stage table seat and ordered dinner. A father and daughter from Japan sat to my left, which made me wish I spoke enough Japanese to carry a conversation. I was rewarded a half hour later when a man from Ottawa, in town for his daughter’s dance competition, took the seat across from mine. We had a nice, prolonged conversation. It was great.

The show I was about to see was even greater.

Earl Klugh, as he has throughout his 40-year career, played acoustic guitar:
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David Lee was on keyboards:
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Tom Braxton played alto sax (seen below), soprano sax, and flute:
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Al Turner, the Bass Burner, on electric bass:
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…and Ron Otis on drums:
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There were also two special guests, as you’ll see in the set list below:
1. Brazilian Stomp
Originally heard on: Collaboration (with George Benson), 1987

2. Midnight in San Juan
Originally heard on: Midnight in San Juan, 1991

3. Last Song
Originally heard on: The Journey, 1997

4. Across the Sand
Originally heard on: Move, 1994

5. Cabo Frio
Originally heard on: Finger Paintings, 1977

6. Wishful Thinking
Originally heard on: Wishful Thinking, 1984
Special guest: Barry Eastmond, keyboard

7. Vonetta
Originally heard on: Earl Klugh, 1976

8. Living Inside Your Love
Originally heard on: Living Inside Your Love, 1976

9. Dr. Macumba
Originally heard on: Finger Paintings, 1977

10 (Encore). Twinkle
Originally heard on: Crazy for You, 1981
Special guest: Michael Lington, alto sax

Here are various shots of each musician, including the special guests, starting with Earl Klugh:
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David Lee in emcee mode:
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…and at the keys:
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Hearing him on the Kurzweil synthesizer reminded me of Bill Heller, who also uses that model:
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David was quite the character. I loved his antics.

Tom Braxton on alto sax:
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…on soprano sax:
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…and on flute:
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Al Turner:
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Ron Otis:
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Barry Eastmond appeared on “Wishful Thinking,” just as he did on the original in 1984:
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Michael Lington joined the band for the encore, “Twinkle”:
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Wide shots:
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The last note:
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With that, the 8:00 set was complete.

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I complimented Al Turner and Michael Lington as they left the stage, and let Earl know that this was my first time seeing him live. “Really?” Yes, and I hope it isn’t the last time. I spoke to Tom Braxton before the show, but didn’t have a chance to talk to him again afterward.

I got a picture with Al before I left:
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If you’d like to see Earl and the band at Blue Note, you have five more nights to do so. Come on down to the Village and see them play. You won’t be disappointed. I was enthralled. Thank you to Earl, David, Tom, Al, Ron, Barry, and Michael.

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Comments»

1. gc - July 13, 2016

To be exact, he plays a Flamenco guitar, which is acoustic. your pics show it has been drilled and had one or more pickups insalled in it. i have a Sergio Zepeda Flamenco which seems to be exactly the same if not just similar. when i bought it he differed from “Classic” and “Flamenco”. just click classic, then, high end classic and the Flamenco comes up and you can judge the similarity as you were there. i purchased from Sergio (stupid cheap:) you may be interested in seeing the “production facility. it is in Masaya Nicaragua. the home of fine guitars.

https://guitarraszepeda.com/

2. gc - July 13, 2016

sent pic in tweet

3. An afternoon at the Fire Island Lighthouse | MikeChimeri.com - July 16, 2016

[…] Angela and I had a brief conversation about Earl Klugh and I told her about the show I went to a few nights earlier. […]

4. Lee Ritenour at the Blue Note | MikeChimeri.com - August 20, 2016

[…] the magazine. I told him I was interested in seeing Lee Ritenour the week he was at Blue Note. Like Earl Klugh last month, I had never seen him – or Dave Grusin, for that matter – live. However, I interviewed […]


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