News hook: Guitarist Barry Finnerty, perhaps best known for his playing and recording with Miles Davis (The Man With the Horn), the Brecker Brothers (Heavy Metal Bebop), and the Crusaders (Street Life), will make his first New York City appearance after a seven-year absence on Friday, January 13, at The Cutting Room, 19 West 24th Street, in the middle of this year's International Association for Jazz Education convention. The lineup will include trumpeter Randy Brecker; drummer Graham Hawthorne (Paul Simon, David Byrne); percussionist Chuggy Carter (Donny Hathaway); probably Will Lee (David Letterman Show) and keyboardist Jeff Pittson.
Personal update: In 1973, at the age of 21, Barry moved from San Francisco to NYC, where he immediately got the gig with Chico Hamilton and performed with him that year at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Headquartered in NYC for some 25 years, he played and recorded not only with the artists named above, but also with Airto and Flora Purim, Hubert Laws, Joe Farrell, Ray Barretto, and many others. In addition, he toured frequently throughout the USA, Europe, and Japan, and released six albums as a solo artist. In the '90s, his many up's were, unfortunately, followed by a period of down's because of drugs. Back in the Bay Area, he not only overcame the drug problem, but has experienced a resurgence in his professional life, including the release of his seventh album, TRAZZ!" (TRANCE JAZZ); the publication (Sher Music, December 2005) of his first book, The Serious Jazz Practice Book (Melodic Materials for the Modern Jazz Soloist); the performance with his own group at the 2004 Montreux Festival; and, since April, his weekly Guitar Tuesdays (with alternating straight ahead and psychedelic jazz/funk jam trios) at Savanna Jazz in San Francisco.
(For more background, go to www.barryfinnerty.com and click on either the long or short bio. Also, the News" section contains a copy of the Jesse Hamlin feature story that appeared at the top of Datebook" in the San Francisco Chronicle this past Fourth of July.)
Historical note: Barry's father was actor Warren Finnerty, who won the 1959-60 Obie award for best actor for his performance in Jack Gelber's The Connection" at The Living Theatre. Also known for appearances in films, including The Pawnbroker," Cool Hand Luke," and Easy Rider," Warren died in December 1974. (We believe that both the Village Voice and the New York Times published obituaries.)