Suffice it to say that Jools Holland has a full dance card. He's the presenter of a radio show on BBC 2 and the driving force behind Later…with Jools Holland, the celebrated and inventive BBC TV program he created in 1992.
But more than anything, Holland is a crafty and fun-loving musician who drops everything for the opportunity to sit behind a piano. So he recently put the busy schedule on hold and flew into New York to celebrate his 60th birthday (January 25) and perform in the Big Apple for the first time in more than a decade.
Holland usually loads in with his 18-piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, but he’s traveling light for this trip, showcasing a "Piano, Vocals and Drum Frenzy" at the Blue Note in Manhattan. Holland and Co. were kind enough to let us sit in while they warmed up for their four-night stay, with several performances featuring singers Mable Ray, Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall and drummer Gilson Lavis, whose collaborations with Holland trace back to the 1970s, when they were members of the British pop-rock band Squeeze.
Sound Engineer: Corey Goldberg
Jools Holland's "Piano, Vocals and Drum Frenzy" appears tonight at the Blue Note.