Sled Dogs in the City

I will be playing all this week (Tuesday-Friday) with the Claire Daly Quintet at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola/Jazz at Lincoln Center.  We will be playing music from the album we co-wrote called Mary Joyce: Nothing to Lose.  Mary Joyce was a true pioneer who traveled from Juneau to Fairbanks, Alaska on dog sled back in the 1930’s.  We premiered the music in Juneau a few weeks ago to a sold out theater and now we are bringing it home.  Hope to see you.  You can find more details at  It’s a late set that begins about 11 pm after Barbara Carroll’s set.  Down below is a review of the music that just came out in the NYC Jazz Record.

Claire Daly-Baritone Sax

Napolean Maddox-Human Beat Box

Maryanne McSweeny-Bass

Peter Grant – Drums

Steve Hudson – Piano

Mary Joyce Project: Nothing to Lose

Claire Daly

by Ken Dryden/NYC Jazz Record

Claire Daly has been one of the prominent baritone saxophonists in jazz for over a decade, perennially one of the favorites in various polls. Having worked with the Diva Jazz Orchestra, Joel Forrester’s groups and George Garzone (among others), Daly has primarily focused on leading her own bands in recent years,tackling diverse projects. Mary Joyce Project: Nothing to Lose is a concept CD that honors her father’s late cousin, who made her home for decades in Juneau, Alaska and led a three month, 1,000 mile dogsled trip to Fairbanks in the mid ‘30s. Explaining her inspiration to pianist Steve Hudson, they wrote new pieces individually and collaboratively for the project, capturing the many facets of Daly’s adventurous relative. Joining them are bassist Mary McSweeney, drummer Peter Grant and, on selected tracks, human beat box Napoleon Maddox.

Hudson’s “Guidance” is a perfect introduction, conveying the loneliness of life in the Alaskan wilderness, with the musicians adding a wordless chant to lend a Native American flavor. Maddox’ work is prominent in “Homage to Freedom” (a Hudson/ Daly collaboration), which Daly begins on flute in a deliberate funky setting, before switching to the big horn and leading the band through a romping postbop workout. The baritonist’s “Gotta Go” is driving hardbop, with fine solos all around and Maddox’ playful vocal percussion adding a modern touch. Daly’s delicious bossa nova “Complicated Love” and her aptly named “Lonely Wilderness” are both great features for her lyrical baritone.

Daly sets down her horn for Hudson’s ballad “Shine”, delivering a warm, heartfelt vocal backed by the composer and McSweeney. “Epilogue” (another shared composition) features the leader narrating her relative’s story while incorporating the old chestnut “When I Grown Too Old to Dream” into the second half of the piece. This is easily Daly’s most exciting project to date.

For more information, visit Daly is at Dizzy’s Club Jun. 21st-25th. See Calendar.


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