by Peter Aaron
Over the past several years the non-profit, Catskill-based, jazz-advocacy organization Planet Arts has released numerous excellent recordings. The group is also behind the long-running One2One Jazz Series, which takes place at the Athens Cultural Center. The 2013 season of One2One kicks off this Saturday with a performance by Ralph Lalama and Bop Juice.
A superb tenor saxophonist who’s often compared to such golden-era Blue Noters as Sonny Rollins and Hank Mobley, Lalama has been a force on the New York jazz scene since the 1970s. He’s performed with Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Carla Bley, Barry Harris, James Moody, Mel Torme, Carmen McRae, Joe Morello, the Mel Lewis Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra), with whom he is a featured soloist at the legendary Manhattan nightspot. Lalama’s current trio, Bop Juice, features Clifford Barbero on drums and Pat O' Leary on bass, and recently released Live at Smalls (Smallslive Records).
Ralph Lalama and Bop Juice will perform at 8pm on Saturday, March 23, at the Athens Cultural Center. The concert will be preceded by one of the series’ unique “jazz talk” audience Q&A segments with the artists. Admission is $10. For more information call (518) 945-2669 or visit www.planetarts.org.