Live and on CD

Article Published: Aug. 11, 2011 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
Live and on CD

For more than a decade, the Blowing Rock Jazz Society has been delivering hot monthly concerts.

These "Second Sunday" shows, as they are known, attract jazz lovers of all ages, backgrounds and ethnicities. Their shared love of America's truly original art form helps create a bond of friendship.

This Sunday, Aug. 14, the Blowing Rock Jazz Society will do it again with a concert featuring the Noel Freidline Quintet at the Meadowbrook Inn. The show is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will last approximately two hours.

Tickets for the show are $15 for the general public, $5 for students and free for all BRJS members in good standing.

The Noel Freidline Quintet is celebrating its 20th year of performing shows that are as entertaining as they are musically astounding. The band features Freidline on piano, Renee Ebalaroza on vocals, Elisa Pruett on upright acoustic bass, Justin Vanes on drums and Christian Tamburr on vibraphone and percussion.

All members of the band are also music educators in the state of Florida.

This Sunday's concert will also serve as the grand unveiling of the new Blowing Rock Jazz Society album, "Centerpiece Vol. 1."

Tracks on the new album include Rick Simerly's "Centerpiece," Larry Lapin's "Rosetta," Jed Levy's "In the House," Michelle Amato's "Tow for the Road," Jon Metzger's "Reunion Blues," Noel Freidline and Renee Ebalaroza's "Route 66," Southern Fried Jazz Band's "Basin Street Blues," Bill Hanna's "Moose the Mooche," Tom Tupponce and Noel Freidline's "Give Me One Reason," Dave Morgan and Jeff Lashway's "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans," Greg and Cathy Gleb's "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" and Seth Carper's "The Legend."

Recorded on location at the Meadowbrook Inn at BRJS concerts over the past few years, the new album is a joint project between the BRJS and Appalachian State University's Hayes School of Music and R.F. Gilley Recording Studio.

With a truly live feel to the proceedings, "Centerpiece" gives the listener the true BRJS experience. Applause after solos, some light background conversation, and the occasional tinkling of glasses can be heard, yet not so that it distracts from the music.

The music on the album is as varied as the BRJS schedule. Traditional New Orleans brass jazz, hot piano-led jazz, blues and smoky vocal numbers are all present and accounted for.

Coincidentally, one of the best tunes on the new album is by the band performing this Sunday. Freidline and company blaze through a thoroughly entertaining version of "Route 66."

Other standouts include Michelle Amato's "Two for the Road" and Bill Hanna's "Moose the Mooche."

With 12 musical tracks ranging in length from 4:20 to 9:35, the album is also a fantastic bargain at $10, with a portion of that money going to the Appalachian State University Department of Jazz Studies.

For more information on this Sunday's concert, or to make reservations, call the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock at (828) 295-4300. For more on the Blowing Rock Jazz Society, visit

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