Umphrey’s McGee Delivers A Masterful Set Of Improvisation With Joshua Redman In Portland [Review]

first_imgUmphrey’s McGee pushed on with their northeast run last night, stopping at the famed State Theater in Portland, Maine for a wild night of live music. The band continues to miss guitar player Jake Cinninger as a result of a “wicked flu” and doctor’s orders to rest up at home, however, they certainly made up for his absence with a high-octane performance that was filled with highlights. Modern jazz saxophone master Joshua Redman joined them for almost the entirety of the show, and jam starlets Spafford provided an the awesome opening set that set the tone for the evening. After a second set composed entirely of improvisation and a raucous response from the amped up audience, it’s clear that Umphrey’s McGee continues to be one of the best live bands in the game.Spafford crushed their opening set. After hitting the East Coast this week for a pair of headlining shows, they reconnected with Umphrey’s for another weekend as their supporting act. They turned in a fun performance in New Haven on Thursday night, but last night’s set at the State Theatre really saw them hit their stride with another forty-five minute, four-song performance. The band performed “In The Eyes Of Thieves”, “Galisteo’s Way”, “People”, and “Ain’t That Wrong”, and they were totally on fire throughout. Guitarist Brian Moss was locked in and showed off his impressive skills throughout the set, linking up with the rest of the band for several exciting moments and tight transitions.Umphrey’s McGee took the stage at 9:15 PM, and they immediately launched into one of their most beloved songs, “2×2”. This multi-sectional classic was only played two shows ago–Sunday night at Penn’s Peak–as the band continued to rotate their catalog unconventionally to accommodate for Cinninger’s absence. “2×2” would mark the first of three songs throughout the evening that debuted before Cinninger joined the band. The song itself was stretched to around seventeen minutes long and showcased everything that’s great about Umphrey’s McGee: tight composition, ambitious improvisation, and a true dedication to their craft. Brendan Bayliss was a revelation on guitar, shining brightly during his traditional triumphant solo at the song’s end.After the opening number, Bayliss quickly introduced Redman, who would remain on stage with the band for the remainder of the opening frame. They started up “Bad Friday,” and the crowd responded with a huge wave of excited energy to the song’s thumping beat and funky vibes. Redman wasted no time in making his presence known, harmonizing with Bayliss on the song’s verses and adding an awesome solo that quickly established his intentions for the night. The self-titled track from Umphrey’s 2004 album Anchor Drops came next, a fan-favorite that is always welcome on any night. The jazzy-vibes were the perfect launchpad for Redman’s style and provided another opportunity for him to shine.The band kept it moving with a rare cover of “When the World Is Running Down You Make the Best of What’s Still Around” by The Police. This was the highlight of the first set, as the band built up to a huge peak in the middle of the song, then, after finishing the final chorus, wound their way into “Professor Wormbog” with a slick and out-there transition. Redman continued his dominance, relishing in his featured role with inspired playing that whipped the crowd into a frenzy. The second pre-Jake song of the evening, the heartfelt “Hajimemishite,” provided a breather after the raging cover that came before it. Then, keyboardist Joel Cummins paid homage to Cinninger by taking over lead vocals in his absence on “Mail Package.” Cummins did admirably on the song, and he stepped up in general without Jake there for the evening. The crowd roared in approval as the band completed the song, and they walked off stage to prepare for their pending full set of improvisation.After a standard set break, Umphrey’s McGee returned the stage for their highly anticipated set of improv. To the excitement of everyone in the room, Redman joined them from the outset. Drummer Kris Meyers kicked things off with a funky beat, and the band quickly latched on and dropped into their first idea of the set. Bayliss would lead them into a more sinister rock section, and they weaved in and out of the ideas for a bit before keeping it funky. Redman and Bayliss would then link up for an awesome dual solo, chasing each other musically for a few minutes while building the tension masterfully. Eventually, they dropped back into the previously-played rock section, before once again falling back into the funk and staying there for a good amount of time.At around the thirteen-minute mark, Cummins took the lead with a rhythmic keyboard part that the band used to influence their next direction. Meyers and percussionist Andy Farag kept increasing the tempo, and Redman and Bayliss continued to push each other with lots of tension-and-release playing. Meyers then cut the tempo tremendously, which created tons of space for Redman to fill. Ryan Stasik is often the dark horse for MVP during these improv sets, seamlessly flowing through so many genres of music without missing a beat. It was more of the same from Stasik last night, providing a rock-solid foundation for the band to build on.Redman would walk off stage with a few minutes to spare, giving the band an opportunity to create some fresh music together, and Bayliss used this as an opportunity do try out some new lyrics with a lyrical “Jimmy Stewart” segment that brought the improvisational second set to an end. The entire second set was filled with moments of pure improvisation. It would be impossible to describe every nook and cranny of the sixty-five-minute journey, so make sure to check out full audio from the show (also embedded below) to fully experience this masterful set of music. The band wove in so many different genres of music throughout the set, adding elements of metal, progressive rock, jazz, funk, and more to the excellent improvisational effort.For the encore, Umphrey’s would leave Redman behind to perform two songs on their own. They started off with their third and final pre-Cinninger song of the evening, the fun rock tune”Much Obliged”. The old-favorite was met with a huge cheer, giving long time fans one more chance to sing along after an excellent evening of music. Then, the band moved into a spot-on cover of “Ophelia” by The Band to close the evening. The song was last performed at The Major Rager in Augusta, GA back in 2016, a gap of seventy-six shows, and it was only their seventh-ever performance of the classic song.Umphrey’s McGee threw down an incredible performance in Portland last night, and thanks to taper opsopcopolis, you can listen to full, high-quality audio from the show below. Umphrey’s McGee, Joshua Redman, and Spafford continue their run through the Northeast this evening with a show at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY.Umphrey’s McGee | State Theater | Portland, ME | 1/27/2017Set 1: 2×2[1], Bad Friday[2], Anchor Drops[2], When the World Is Running Down You Make the Best of What’s Still Around[2] > Professor Wormbog[2], Hajimemashite[2], Mail Package[3]Set 2: Chapter 11[2] > Chapter 12[2] > Chapter 13[2] > Chapter 14[2] > Chapter 15[2] > Chapter 16[2] > Chapter 17[2] > Chapter 18[2] > Chapter 19[2], Chapter 20[4] > Chapter 21Encore: Much Obliged > Ophelia[1] with Feels So Good (Chuck Mangione) teases[2] with Joshua Redman on saxophone[3] with Joshua Redman on saxophone and Joel on vocals[4] “Jimmy Stewart” with lyricsNotes:entire show without Jakethe second set was completely improvised[setlist courtesy of allthings.umphreys.com]last_img read more

With improved strength, WR Chew shines

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on March 29, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Van Chew steps on the scale every time he enters the weight room. He has to.It’s apparent to teammate Antwon Bailey. To the Syracuse running back, it seems as if Chew’s pipe-cleaner calves are on the scale every time the two work out together. That is only because Chew knows if he is to play next year, he must work the scale every day. With the departure of the would-be starter Mike Jones at the Z wide receiver position before spring practice started, Chew was promoted. And thus far, he hasn’t disappointed. The rising junior wide receiver has provided more highlight-reel plays than any other member of the Syracuse roster through the first five practices. ‘I’ll tell you what, he did a great job this offseason,’ SU head coach Doug Marrone said after practice last Wednesday. ‘I don’t know the exact number, but he put on 12 pounds, 15 pounds and that was one of the things that happened last year, he wasn’t physical enough to get off the line of scrimmage.’In the fall, the times Chew graced that scale in the football weight room, it would read somewhere around 161 pounds. Now, it teeters and changes much more frequently. Heading into spring practice, Chew claims to weigh 15 pounds more than his playing weight last year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe’s hoping those extra pounds of muscle will enable him to improve upon his measly six receptions in 2009 — good enough for 11th on the team. It put Chew well behind Bailey and fellow running backs Delone Carter and Chew’s former roommate, Averin Collier.The added weight is in large part because of his extra homework assignment for Winter Break. His coaches told him to do one thing to complement his workout routine: eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. A lot of them.After reeling in at least three catches of 25 yards or more in 11-on-11 play each day through the first week of practice, it appears as if Chew met that Skippy and Welch’s quota his coaches set out for him. He has not only been able to get off the line, but he has also become the team’s primary deep threat.‘I knew I had to gain about 10 to 15 pounds,’ Chew said. ‘So all I did was stick in the weight room and lifted and ran and tried to eat as much as I could. ‘Anything that was in front of me.’Over the break, Chew downed at least three sandwiches a day. And with that, he claims to have lived in the weight room, perfecting his already above-average technique. His former roommate, Collier, claims that despite his rail-thin figure, Chew is pound-for-pound one of the strongest players on the team. Most especially, Chew took more and more to the ‘Clean’ –– a lift where players lift a barbell vertically from the ground up to the shoulders and catch it at shoulder height. With each session in the weight room and each sandwich consumed, Chew put on the mass he and others envisioned. Two, then 5, then 7 and finally 15 pounds were added to his frame. And Chew likes to think some confidence was added as well.‘In the weight room, he shocked me when he came back from (Winter) Break,’ said wide receiver Alec Lemon, the No. 1 receiver on the depth chart. ‘He shocked me with all of the weight he put up. Bench, cleans, squats. ‘I told him when he came back, he put something extra in that peanut butter and jelly. I don’t know what it was.’Several weeks later, it’s a similar formula. Yet now it pertains to catches. Months ago, he would disappear in fall practices thanks to cornerbacks like Da’Mon Merkerson and Phillip Thomas easily shedding him. They would shadow him toward the sidelines, completely aloof of his routes. Chew now is able to hit back. With the added weight, he claims he can pick up speed enough to get by his teammates. Enough momentum thus far to gain two, then five, then seven and, by the end of Monday’s practice, more than a dozen deep hauls thus far in spring ball.It was highlighted by a touchdown grab Monday where Chew caught the ball over two defenders. Despite bobbling the ball as he was hit, he secured the ball as he met the ground. Later in practice, he found a seam past Merkerson and corralled another Ryan Nassib bullet in a tight window by the goal line. Those are just two of many this spring, as Chew is entering the discussion as a formidable option downfield.‘I think with the weight that I gained, it also gave momentum when I get off the ball,’ Chew said. ‘So I have better acceleration and won’t get bumped off my route.’Monday night fightsDoug Marrone knew Monday’s practice session was a successful one when he realized he left the field with a bloody pinky.‘They were a little spirited,’ Marrone said following practice. ‘When the head coach comes back and he is bleeding, his fingers bleeding, that is a pretty spirited practice. But again, we want to be competitive, not combative.’Monday’s practice session was highlighted by three scuffles involving players that Marrone attributed to heightened competition. After the first one, Marrone paused practice to get a message across to his players about the consequences of such actions in a game.‘There is a fine line between being competitive and combative,’ Marrone said. ‘And there were a couple of times today where we crossed that line.’The second incident was a fight between tight end Nick Provo and cornerback Phillip Thomas, in which the two threw punches at each other for roughly a minute. Then, defensive coordinator Scott Shafer stepped in as he attempted to pin the two down on the ground.A play later, everything seemed back to normal as Provo and Thomas matched up to the outside, yet again.And for senior linebacker Derrell Smith, the incident was not a big deal. He just relishes in the fact that his coaches aren’t afraid to get into the middle of things as well.Said Smith: ‘I loved it. Everybody loved it. That shows our competitive nature.’[email protected]last_img read more

India, Guyana seeking to develop direct business trades

first_img…as India’s 70th Republic Day observedThe Indian High Commission on Thursday evening hosted a celebratory ceremony to commemorate India’s 70th Republic Day, which is commemorated on January 26 every year.Speaking at the event, which was hosted at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, Georgetown, India’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Venkatachalam Mahalingam noted that this year marks the 50th anniversary since the establishment of complete diplomatic relations between Guyana and India.He commented on the developments in India throughout the years and their present position in the world among the top-ranking nations. The Indian Government is currently seeking to relaunch the country by 2022 as a place whereHigh Commissioner, Venkatachalam Mahalingam delivering his remarks at India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations on Thursdayequity is key and all are subjected to better livelihoods.“During the last three years, India has proved to be a stable economy model in many areas including its regulatory framework. India is shifting from being an informal economy to a formal economy. India has earned its reputation of one of the 10 most-wanted Foreign Direct Investment destinations with an FDI of US$60 billion in 2018,” said the High Commissioner.High Commissioner Mahalingam noted that since the establishment of full diplomatic relations between India and Guyana in 1968, the two countries have been “warm and friendly but also we have consistently held common positions and supported each other in the multilateral arena. India and Guyana have much in common as we share the same colonial past, freedom struggle through peaceful means and our societies being multi-racial and multi-cultural.”According to the High Commissioner, bilateral trade between the two nations is some US$35 million, a figure which he deemed as below potential. It has caused some increased thoughts on ways to enhance some direct engagement in agriculture, renewable energy and pharmaceuticals among others.“The annual bilateral trade between India and Guyana, as reported by both Governments, is around US$35 million, which is far below potential. The trade through third countries for Indian goods and commodities is also equally high and it is expected to be much more than the actual reported trade figure. We are striving hard to enhance direct engagement between the business communities to enhance trade and investment in the fields of renewable energy, agriculture, education, mining, etc and enhanced cooperation in expanding pharmaceutical trade.”His words were followed by a brief presentation by the Prime Minister, Moses Nagamootoo who lauded the economic programme of the country, which has produced mass development.“Your country has embraced a dynamic economic programme and has embarked on a transformational path…The bounds of friendship between Guyana and India shared close historical and ancestral bonds which continue to deepen our cultural exchanges at the people-to-people level,” said Nagamootoo.Among those who attended the event were Minister of State, Joseph Harmon; Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo; Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) presidential candidate, Irfaan Ali; acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Yonette Cummings-Edwards; members of the Diplomatic Corp and other stakeholders.last_img read more