Matthew Lickona 8:30 a.m., Oct. 20
Peter Sprague Is in a New York State of Mind
Leucadia jazz guitarist Peter Sprague was in New York last month for a week, at a composers conference, as a perk of his $ 22,000 grant from Chamber Music America, the organization that funded his sprawling three movement composition, "Dr. Einstein's Spin," for jazz trio and string quartet.
He's already gearing up for a return visit to the Big Apple on Feb. 24-25, this time as a member of four- time Grammy winning vocalist Dianne Reeves' band, who will perform at Lincoln Center.
In January, the band members met in St. Louis to work on new compositions for Reeves' next album on Blue Note Records. Last week, Reeves came to San Diego to work with Sprague on a few compositions one on one, and found herself "digging the vibe at Spragueland Studio," Sprague noted over the phone.
"We might actually record some of the new album at my studio, which would be really cool," said Sprague. Although he's been touring with Reeves for several years now, this is the first time the singer has chosen to collaborate with the guitarist on new material, "before, the tunes were always set-in-stone, this time we're working on material together, which is a cool affirmation for me."
Reeves, Sprague, pianist Peter Martin, guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Terreon Gully will be gigging in The Allen Room at Lincoln Center. "The room has beautiful sound, and right behind the stage is this huge window that overlooks Columbus Avenue. We did a gig there last year, and the vibe is incredible. People really listen, and they're very enthusiastic, so I'm completely pumped for this," Sprague said.
The band aims to use the two-night residency to develop and hone some of the material they've been writing in anticipation of making a new record, which will probably begin in April.
Having a band with piano plus two guitars doesn't happen very often in jazz, but Sprague notes that, "Dianne has this other project she works with called "Strings Attached," with just her, Lubambo and guitarist Russell Malone, so, she's into the dual-guitar format. She's thinking in terms of multiple strings for the new record--maybe even a Sitar on some of the pieces."
Reeves won her last Grammy Award in 2006, for her soundtrack album for the George Clooney directed "Good Night and Good Luck," which she also starred in.
Photo by Michael Oletta