“On the wide entry steps of Grant’s Tomb (Jul. 15th) vibraphonist Jay Hoggard, a Jazzmobile veteran, led his superb quintet—reedplayer Don Byron, keyboard player James Weidman, bassist Belden Bullock and drummer Alvester Garnett— through an increasingly inspired 90+-minute performance of original tunes and a cover of JazzMobile founder Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free”. After warming the crowd with “Swing ‘Em Gates” and “Soular Power”, the music seemed to plumb a deeper level somewhere during Byron’s baritone saxophone solo on “Harlem Jazzbirds Swingin’ and Swayin’”, maintaining this intensity over “Let Me Make It Clear” (with a fine solo by Hoggard), the gospel-tinged Taylor cover (which opened as a vibraphone/piano duet) and romping “God Will Guide”. As the twilight darkened, Hoggard was able to squeeze in two more: an up-swinging “Sonic Hieroglyph” and the calypso “I Am Free”, both stirring pairs of dancing ‘jazzbirds’ into action. ”
- —Tom Greenland AUGUST 2021 | THE NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD p4 http://www.nycjazzrecord.com/issues/tnycjr202108.pdf
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Steve Sandberg and Jay Hoggard 6-3-21 Soapbox Gallery Brooklyn,NY
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Click on photo for this recent interview/performance