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Jazz trio and reed player give music from the heart

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The same concert that celebrates the release of a jazz CD also will pay tribute to the contributions of veteran New Mexico reed player Arlen Asher.

The concert will be in two parts. The first set features the First Take Trio – guitarist Michael Anthony, drummer Cal Haines and bassist Michael Glynn – playing selections from its debut album “First Take.” The album and the ensemble take their name from the circumstances of recording eight of the CD’s nine cuts at KUNM-FM’s studio.

“We rolled the tape, heard it back. And these are all first takes,” Anthony said.

The CD includes such jazz standards as “You Stepped Out of a Dream,” “September in the Rain” and “Mountain Greenery.” The only cut that’s a solo guitar piece is “When the Sun Comes Out,” which was recorded at Mountain Road Recording Studios. Albuquerque jazz historian Mark Weber produced the CD.

On Feb. 15, the day after the concert, the trio returns to KUNM to record its second album.

“We’re taking advantage of everyone being in town,” said Anthony, an Albuquerque resident. “Cal lives in Santa Fe and Michael lives in the Bay Area.”

The First Take Trio
And a tribute to Arlen Asher
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14
WHERE: Outpost Performance Space, 210 Yale SE
HOW MUCH: $18 in advance at or $20 at the door

The trio will join Asher on stage for the second set of Thursday’s concert. That set can be interpreted as the trio’s Valentine’s Day present to Asher, and Asher’s own valentine to his late wife, Jo. He is dedicating the set to her.

Asher is expected to perform on an array of reed instruments. He is a longtime performer and music teacher. He once opened for jazz saxophonist Dexter Gordon and his quartet shared the concert stage with pianist Chick Corea.

Asher established the Arlen Asher Jazz Scholarship Fund in memory of his late wife.