NorthFork Theatre At Westbury
Lalah Hathaway, February 18
Donald Fagen, March 3
The name Lalah Hathaway is synonymous with brilliant singer. Lalah is one of the few artists who has an individual voice seeking a singular aesthetic and pursuing it arduously, painstakingly, and sans compromise. She is an artist managing the feat of all the greats—to borrow from existing color, only to create brilliant and unexpected pastiche. In 1990, Lalah released her self titled, acclaimed debut album. Words like “smoky” and “confident” were used to describe it. In 1994 Hathaway released her second album A Moment to glowing reviews. She was said to be the possessor of “torchy elegance” and to have made a “solid” and “independent step” in contemporary Rhythm and Blues. Lalah joined Joe Sample—jazz veteran of The Crusaders fame—for 1999’s The Song Lives On; he provided the formidable piano tracks and she mesmerized fans with a persistently sultry vocal performance. Most recently, she has come to the table with a group of songs that reveals an even greater maturity and a darkly original approach to production. Among her latest pursuits, Lalah is on the road bringing her unique style and acclaimed tunes directly to her fans as she tours, stopping in for one night only to perform in the round at the North Fork Theatre at Westbury.
Eric Benét’s harrowing and healing new album, Hurricane proves that courage comes from honesty, vulnerability and a stubborn optimism that infuses every note. “The premise of this album is wrapped up in its title,” explains Eric. “It’s about how everything I knew and loved was leveled and how something real and positive and beautiful emerged from the rubble. It’s a chronicle of my life through the past five years…and coming out the other side.” Five years is how long it’s taken the Milwaukee native to follow-up his breakthrough 1999 album A Day In The Life featuring the Grammy®nominated smash “Spend My Life With You.” What followed was a high-profile marriage and an even more high-profile break-up that tested and tempered him as both an individual and an artist. It was also the creative impetus for the remarkable musical odyssey that comprises Hurricane. One of the most memorable tracks on the album is India, which is named for Benét’s daughter. Remarkably, in the midst of its tumultuous creation, Hurricane also manages to break breathtaking new stylistic ground for an artist who has always walked the cutting edge of contemporary R&B and Urban Soul. It’s spirit that infuses Hurricane with its unique power and perspective. From the opening notes of the inspirational “Be Myself Again,” through the full emotional spectrum of such standout selections as “Where Does The Love Go,” “In The End,” “Still With You”” and the above mentioned “India,” Eric Benét proves conclusively that an act of courage is a thing of beauty. Now on tour with Lalah Hathaway, the pair combines for one show that can’t be missed.
Live Nation presents Donald Fagen, co-founder of Steely Dan, to perform songs straight from his eagerly anticipated new solo album Morph The Cat at the North Fork Theatre at Westbury on Friday, March 3 at 8p.m.
The show, featuring nine new songs written and arranged by Fagen, Morph The Cat is the multi-Grammy winning artist’s first solo album since 1993’s Kamakiriad and the final installment in a de facto musical trilogy that began with The Nightfly in 1982. “The Nightfly is sort of looking from the standpoint of youth,” Fagen explains. “Kamakiriad would be more about midlife. This new one is about endings, really.” Morph The Cat selections include the title track and the debut single “H Gang,” which is scheduled for digital release on January 24th. Also featured are “What I Do,” “Brite Nightgown,” “The Great Pagoda Of Funn,” “Security Joan,” “The Night Belongs To Mona,” “Mary Shut The Garden Door” and a reprise of “Morph The Cat.”
Built around extended, richly-textured jazz, soul and rock grooves, the themes of Morph The Cat range from impending mortality and assorted apocalyptic scenarios to homeland security and the ghost of Ray Charles. “I don’t think you can escape the environment we live in now,” Fagen remarks on his songwriting strategy. “If Steely Dan has survived – and I have survived as a solo artist – it’s partly because we’ve reflected what’s going on around us.”
Morph The Cat was recorded in New York City and Kauai, Hawaii with longtime Steely Dan engineer Elliot Scheiner at the boards. The album also features an extraordinary line-up of backing musicians, many of who have previously worked with Fagen and his Steely Dan partner Walter Becker on stage and in the studio. Included are drummer Keith Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington and guitarists Hugh McCracken, Jon Herington and Wayne Krantz. Fagen performs lead and backing vocals and plays keyboards.
Fagen hits the road in support of his long awaited new solo album this March, stopping in at the North Fork Theatre at Westbury for one night onlyFriday, March 3rd. Donald has teamed up with “I Love All Access” to offer fans VIP ticket packages on the Donald Fagen Band ’06 tour (info available on his website at www.donaldfagen.com). Donald Fagen also appears on March 7 at the Beacon Theatre.