Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
Drummer Brian Blade has an astounding résumé. He played on Bob Dylan's Time out of Mind, Norah Jones' Come Away with Me, and Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball. His gentle touch and commitment to playing in the pocket have made him one of the world's foremost session drummers, able to intuitively galvanize most any mood. For the past seventeen years he's also been the anchor of Wayne Shorter's quartet. Although Blade has appeared frequently at Duke Performances, this season, for the first time, he comes to Durham with his long-running Fellowship Band.
With the Fellowship Band, Blade brings all of his inspirations and experiences to the fore simultaneously, from the gospel he grew up playing in his family's Louisiana church to the New Orleans jazz of his college years. Perennially cool and nuanced, the ensemble moves seamlessly between hard bop and heavenly atmospherics, threaded together by sophisticated harmony and meticulous rhythm. The band - composer and keyboardist Jon Cowherd, horn players Myron Walden and Melvin Butler, and upright bassist Chris Thomas - is of the highest caliber, with a chemistry between the players that is amazing to behold.