November 5th, 2010
Drummer Brian Blade brought his Fellowship Band to the EMP for an Earshot Jazz Festival concert. The Fellowship Band is guitarist Jeff Parker, keyboardist Jon Cowherd, bassist Chris Thomas, and is front-lined by the twin-horns of Myron Walden (alto saxophone, bass clarinet) and Melvin Butler (tenor saxophone), bassist Chris Thomas.
The Fellowship Band’s beautiful blend of guitar, keyboards and horns is a transcendent sound presenting a unique flow of melody and improvisation. Born in Shreveport, Louisiana, percussionist Brian Blade moved to New Orleans to study at Loyola University in 1988. At Loyola Blade was able to study with many of the city’s great educators, including John Vidacovich, Ellis Marsalis, Steve Masakowski, and John Mahoney. It was at Loyola that Blade also befriended pianist Jon Cowherd and bassist Chris Thomas, with whom he later moved to New York City.
This trio formed the core of Blade’s Fellowship, which soon expanded to feature two reeds, electric guitar, and pedal steel guitar. With Fellowship, Blade released the eclectic Brian Blade Fellowship (1998) and Perceptual (2000) for Blue Note, and though the albums were critically acclaimed, they were not great commercial successes.
Blade’s star continued to rise, however, first in high-profile gigs with Joshua Redman and Kenny Garrett, and later with Wayne Shorter in his new quartet with John Patitucci and Danilo Perez. Blade has also gone to conquer some seemingly unlikely gigs with Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Seal, while winning numerous award from major jazz and percussion publications along the way.
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Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival