critic's pick 130

On his third consecutive all-star album collaboration, Herbie Hancock reaches not so much for the stars as he does around the world. The Grammy winning jazz journeyman takes songs of affirmation – some obvious, some wonderfully unexpected – enlists a stable of international pop celebrities, places the graceful and immensely animated cool of his keyboard work (with emphasis on piano over electronics) in the driver’s seat and takes everything out for a hearty global spin.

How far reaching is Hancock’s treatise on cross-continental pop diplomacy? How about a reading of Bob Dylan’s social anthem The Times They Are a’ Changin’ that begins with a stoic vocal hush from Lisa Hannigan before the tempo takes on a livelier Celtic air. Cue the Chieftains, which briskly alter the musical atmosphere. But what’s that harp-like accent sprinkled over the summit? Why, it’s the angelic kora playing of Malian instrumental star Toumani Diabete.

From America to Ireland to West Africa in about eight minutes – that’s some serious globetrotting.

Sound wild? Then try this. Take the The Beatles’ psychedelic staple Tomorrow Never Knows and add in the vocal haze of Dave Mathews. But what’s that chugging string charge that sounds less like a blast of Brit-pop day-tripping and more like a backyard jam session? Hey, it’s banjoist/guitarist Danny Barnes, one of Americana music’s great unsung stylists getting a long overdue big league break.

And for a sound that is a little more continental, there is Matthew Moore’s Space Captain, a funky bit of carnival-style soul that Joe Cocker helped popularize four decades ago during his Mad Dogs and Englishmen days. Here, the homegrown soul sound comes from the first couple of inventive jam band music, Dereks Trucks and Susan Tedeschi. It’s an earthy, rootsy revision with a serious gospel underpinning that appropriately grabs the tune by the collar at several points.

The guest card occasionally gets a little crowded. A two-part reinvention of John Lennon’s Imagine, the album’s namesake tune, has to make room for vocal turns by India.Arie, Seal and Pink. That tends to squeeze an instrumental break by guitar great Jeff Beck out of the picture. His solo is clean and engaging, but a bit muted by all the company.

And where is Hancock during all of the ceremonies? Oh, he is very much in charge. One might be initially drawn to the guest stars, but listen to the way his piano work makes a lovely, dark lullaby out of Peter Gabriel’s Don’t Give It Up or the melodic warmth he weaves around James Morrison’s vocal turns on the Sam Cooke soul classic A Change is Gonna Come. What you hear is a piano voice every bit as worldly as the global journey The Imagine Project takes us on.

New York Police & Fire Widow’s and Children’s’ Benefit Fund to Host 26th Annual Gala on “10-13”, honoring Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO, Lloyd C. Blankfein.

Journal of Transportation October 22, 2011 New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund Chairman, Stephen J. Dannhauser of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and President, Kevin Parker of Deutsche Asset Management will host the charity’s 26th Annual Benefit Gala with a tribute to New York City’s fallen first responders on Thursday, October 13, 2011. The gala will be hosted at the Wade Thompson Drill Hall of the Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

This year’s Gala, marking the 10th Anniversary of “9-11,” will honor Lloyd Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., for his ongoing support of the Benefit Fund and NYC’s first responders. The gala will be hosted by Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News.

Kevin Parker, Global Head of Deutsche Bank’s Asset Management division and President of the charity said, “The safety our City’s Fire and Police personnel provide us is something we should never take for granted. The emergency radio call of ’10-13′, which is also the date of the Gala, indicates that a First Responder is in need of assistance. Let this date, on the 10th anniversary of 9-11 when so many of them gave their lives, be a reminder to all of us that our commitment to New York’s bravest and their families must not waiver.” “It’s a privilege to honor Lloyd,” said Stephen Dannhauser, Chairman of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Chairman of the charity’s Board of Directors. “The support that he and his colleagues at Goldman Sachs have shown to family members of New York’s finest and bravest heroes has been remarkable and has made a huge impact on their lives, providing help when and where it is most needed.” “All New Yorkers owe a great deal not only to the City’s first responders but to their families,” said Lloyd C. Blankfein, Chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. “It is an honor for our firm to help support the New York Police & Fire Widows & Children’s Benefit Fund.” Special guests include Hockey Hall of Famer, former honoree and charity VP of Community Affairs, Mark Messier, NYC Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and NYC Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and Port Authority Police Superintendent Michael Fedorko, Donnie Wahlberg (Blue Bloods), Jim Cramer (Mad Money) and many of New York’s movers and shakers will be milling amongst the 1200 guests. go to site jim cramer mad money

Mark Messier said, “I chose to get involved with this charity, because like all Americans and New Yorkers, I was profoundly affected by September 11, 2001. The courage and selflessness that was shown by New York’s Bravest and Finest was an inspiration to me. I feel deeply compelled to honor and remember all first responders who put the safety of others before their own by helping the families they leave behind.” The event will also feature a performance by up and coming entertainer Duane McLaughlin, who will sing his new release “Ready to Live”.

Since its inception in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub, the Benefit Fund has distributed more than $123 million to the families of New York City Police and Fire Fighters who have been killed in the line of duty. Starting in 1987, the Benefit Fund provided 320 families with annual financial assistance. The commitment has since grown to nearly 700 families. With minimal overhead, the charity is able to give 95 cents of every dollar donated directly to the families who has suffered the loss of a loved one in the line of duty The Gala will include a live auction led by George McNeely of Christie’s. Notable items that are being donated this year include unique experience packages through the NYPD, FDNY and PAPD.

The cocktail reception begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and program at 7:30 p.m. Individual tickets begin at $1000. go to website jim cramer mad money

For tickets and sponsorship/ticket information, contact: Linda Giammona, 212.735.4505 or About The New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund The Benefit Fund’s mission is to provide assistance to the families of New York City Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Port Authority Police and EMS Personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. The Benefit Fund gives financial assistance to grieving families immediately after they lose their loved one. Our goal is to raise enough funds to provide meaningful annual distributions to our beneficiaries for the remainder of their lives.

Since the Benefit Fund’s inception in 1985 by Daniel J. “Rusty” Staub, the our charity has distributed over $123 million to the families of fallen New York City Police and Fire personnel who have been killed in the line of duty. In 1987 we provided 320 families with annual financial assistance and by 2011 we have made the same commitment to nearly 700 families. Our need has certainly grown, but our mission remains pure: NEVER FORGET those that put the safety of others before their own.

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