Tue April 23, 2024

A program of classic pop and soul songs reimagined


Doors: 7:30 PM   Show: 8:00 PM

Saxophonist/Arranger Michael O’Neill takes a trip on the Latin side with Synergy, a program of classic pop and soul songs reimagined featuring 11-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist Tony Lindsay

The Fifth Album by the Michael O’Neill Quintet Features his Long-Running All-Star Cast with Trumpeter Erik Jekabson, Drummer Jason Lewis, Bassist Dan Feiszli and Pianist John R. Burr

Vocalist Tony Lindsay is best known for his nearly two-decade tenure with Santana, a run that included the mega-hit Supernatural and 11 Grammy Awards. While he’s inextricably linked to the Latin rock icon, Lindsay at heart is a supple soul crooner, and his second album with the Michael O’Neill Quintet reveals that he’s equally at ease in Latin jazz settings. Slated for release on April, 2024, Synergy features a beguiling set of arrangements focusing on hits by Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers reimagined via an array of Afro-Latin grooves.

O’Neill is no stranger to showcasing the world world’s greatest male jazz vocalists. His first three quintet albums, 2005’s The Long and the Short of It, 2007’s Still Dancin’ and 2014’s New Beginning, propelled the career of the incomparable Kenny Washington, who went on to earn a Grammy nomination with his first solo studio album. The quintet’s previous release, 2019’s Pacific Standard Time, reintroduced Tony Lindsay post-Santana as a suave and swinging champion of the American Songbook.

 On the early albums O’Neill wrote all the arrangements himself, but he’s increasingly featured charts by his bandmates, “and this new recording has six excellent arrangements by these great musicians that I’m so honored to work with,” O’Neill says. “This is truly a collaborative effort, hence the title Synergy, interaction or cooperation giving rise to a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

But oh, what parts! The album opens with John R. Burr’s samba-powered version on Bill Withers “Lovely Day” set to a seductive partido alto beat. Dan Feiszli, who engineered and co-produced the album while anchoring the proceedings with his expert bass work, takes Stevie to 1950s Havana with a cha cha setting for “Pastime Paradise.” And O’Neill infuses the joyous “Bird of Beauty” with the pleasure of a samba groove. Expert percussion work by Brian Rice and Omar Ledezma

 Not every track features a Latin beat or a nugget of 1970s soul. Synergy also includes several standards arranged with Afro-Caribbean rhythms. O’Neill’s felicitous mambo settings for a briskly ebullient version of “There Will Never Be Another You” and the gorgeous, album closing “Autumn Leaves” decants these vintage tunes into intoxicating new bottles. With instrumental commentary by a cast of superlative improvisers Synergy adds a brilliant new chapter to a discography that has helped define 21st century vocal jazz.

You may also enjoy these amazing upcoming shows!

Tue Apr 23: Tony Lindsay & W/ The Michael O’Neill Sextet

Sun Apr 28: John Davarsa Big Band feat. Dafnis Prieto

Thu May 2: Ayo Brame