I first encountered the nimble, gracious Adrian Cunningham a few years ago. The young reedman had quickly won the Jon-Erik Kellso Seal of Approval and was playing beautifully. Then I heard him at other gigs, weaving cleverly through an ensemble on clarinet, playing a ballad soulfully on saxophone, accompanying a singer in the most adept, sensitive way, singing exuberantly himself.
Adrian’s created a little band, called PROFESSOR CUNNINGHAM AND HIS OLD SCHOOL — without any enforced rigor of academia — and they will be celebrating the launch of the band’s premiere CD with a gig at The Cutting Room this Tuesday, September 24, 2013. Here is the event page on the ubiquitous Facebook.
For those who want a more explicit syllabus with assignments and a reading list, open your notebooks, please. The gig will be at The Cutting Room (44 East 32nd Street) in New York City, from 10 PM to 12:30 AM, and Adrian will have a few surprise guests to sit in and play a song or two. If you book your admission through the club’s website, it’s a paltry $10, or $15 at the door. The band will include Charlie Caranicas, trumpet; John Merrill, guitar; Rob Garcia on drums, a Mystery Trombonist, Oscar Perez on piano, and Adrian.
And here’s what one version of the OLD SCHOOL sounded like earlier this year at Radegast — creating swinging business with Vinny Raniolo, guitar; Charlie Caranicas, trumpet; George Rush, string bass, and Rob Garcia, drums:
I think this evening will be a truly educational experience. And Adrian has assured me that anyone smiling, rocking, or dancing at the gig has already passed the final. Extra credit to CD purchasers!
May your happiness increase!