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This one of the biggest and best jazz events in U.S.A. and for its February programmed time is the last one being done by Joe Rothman and John McClure. However, the Sunset Jazz at Newport summer series will continue July 11th to September 19th. 2018. Joe Rothman and John McClure have done a magnificent job with all their presentations. Note: The Newport Beach Jazz Party for February, 2019 and beyond will be taken over by a Paul Lowden. Musical Director will be Ken Peplowski.

My wife and I attended the Saturday, February 17th Champagne Brunch and two afternoon pool concerts. The Champagne Brunch had two gorgeous segments. First, the Peak Experience with Mike Peak (b), Ron Kobayashi (p), Kendall Kay (d), Carl Saunders (tpt), Rickey Woodard (ts), Ann Patterson (as), and Andrea Miller (v). They started with a Clifford Brown tune, “Blues Walk.” Nice beginning.

They sounded very solid. The choruses following were horns, (Saunders, Woodard, Patterson) piano, (Kobayashi) and drums, (Kendall Kay). Mike Peak introduced vocalist Andrea Miller. She grooved with the band in a splendid song, “I Love Being Here with You.” Her delivery was excellent. The audience had already given several rounds appreciatively of applause, for solos and Miller’s beginning. Peak introduced the ensemble musicians who have been together several years making excellent jazz. A ballad medley, beautiful, came next: the famed “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” and “I Can’t Get Started” with nice solos from Patterson and Saunders. The next three tunes were dedicated from Mike Peak to his lovely wife, Lucy: “My One and Only Love,” “Lucy” performed by Kobayashi (by Mike to Lucy) and the great “At Last” sung by Andrea Miller, backed with the band, did a spectacular job! For their closing number they played an Eddie Harris&Les McCann instrumental, “Cold Duck,” with groovy solos from the entire ensemble and a standing ovation!
Second, NBJP’s second part of the Champagne Brunch gave us Part Three of a continued piano tribute to David L. Abell, who helped many pianists performing Jazz music in Los Angeles as well as musical events where pianos were concerned. Bill Cunliffe hosted this segment presenting eight well-known pianists, which included him as well. Performing were: Bill Cunliffe, Larry Fuller, Tamir Hendelman, Tom Ranier, Emmet Cohen, Ehud Asherie,Yuko Mabuchi and Dena DeRose. Cunliffe began with the beautiful “Emily,” by Johnny Mandel. Ehud Asherie was next and introduced by Bill Cunliffe. Together they performed a sparkling version of “My Hear Stood Still” by Richard Rodgers on two grand pianos on stage making an unusually rich sound. Tamir Hendelman played an improvised jazz waltz and then did another number for both pianos with Dena De Rose, the Benny Golson classic, “Whisper Not.” Moving into Larry Fuller’s solo donation he played, “Both Sides Now,” and then being joined by Emmet Cohen they gave us a fantastic rendition of Ellington’s “Caravan,” a thoroughly full filled version. He also performed a newer tune I hadn’t heard of “Contrary Motion,” an interesting piece. Yuko Mabuchi performed a medley of several well known tunes. Tom Ranier played a tune I did not get the title of. The end of this show brought a start with Cunliffe with Ranier playing Ellington’s “In a Mellow Tone” and all other six pianists taking turns on both pianos playing so all eight pianists could shine on this exceptional piece. The audience gave many rounds of well-deserved applause and another standing ovation.

Afternoon Pool Concerts:

First:

Photo of The Scott Hamilton band

The Scott Hamilton septet performed a brilliant concert outside by the pool and the weather was perfect with sun and all. His ensemble included Scott Hamilton (ts), Ken Peplowski (cl/ts), Dan Barrett(tpt/tb),  Ehud Asherie (p), John Clayton (b),  Joe La Barbera (d)  and Chuck Redd, (vibes).

Their first number was a newer tune for me, “Castle Rock,” a great  audience  opener. The entire septet all gave impressive and excellent solos.

Tunes following were: “Mean to Me,” “Deed I Do,” with an excellent muted trombone solo from Barrett, a boss a tune, “A Day In the Life of a Fool,” and a Woody Herman number, “Apple Honey.” This septet all performed very cohesively. A very relaxed afternoon with a very responsive audience.

Second:

Photo of Bill Cunliffe’s band
Bill Cunliffe’s Brazil with Carol Bach y Rita (v) and sextet, Harry Allen(ts), Kye Palmer (tpt/flg), Charlie Morillas (tb), Jerry Watts (b), Jimmy Branley(d), and John Chiodini (g). Pianist Cunliffe gave us a Kenny Barron composition, “Belem” with the ensemble, a gorgeous number and then followed it with Branislaw Kaper’s great “Invitation” done in medium
samba. He introduced Carol Bach y Rita, who had the audience thoroughly entertained, with “Trust,” a slow funk bossa. The band members were all superb, backing her perfectly. Her other tunes were, Jobim’s “So Danso Samba”and  “Morning Coffee” by Bill Cantos. Carol Bach y Rita always dances between choruses and is very lively to the max.
The audience gave her another standing ovation at the concert’s conclusion.
There were a number of other highlights over the four day festival Jazz Party: Tribute to Frank Capp Juggernaut directed by Butch Miles dedicated to Frankie, the Four Freshmen, Terry Gibbs Dream Band, Patrick Williams Big Band, CSULB Concert Band directed by Jeff Jarvis with special guest Butch Miles and Newport Beach Jazz Party All-Star Big Band directed by John Clayton.
See: www.sunsetjazzatnewport.com for a new concert list coming out  in another month for Wednesday, July 11th thru Wednesday, Sept. 19th,
2018. Glenn A. Mitchell

Image od Cathy-Seagle-Garcia 
This project came on the heels of my 10th recording, “In2uition”, very spontaneously and organically. My “angel” and major supporter and friend, Dan Davilla, offered his involvement, we decided on one of my bucket list recordings, and I called my dear friend Bevan Manson to produce…and on it went!
One of the most difficult things about the project was picking the material. There’s so much good music. Somehow it happened just right. // “Star Eyes” has always been a favorite song of mine. I could never get past Carmen’s version and so I’ve done it as a waltz for years. // I’ve been falling in love with Brazilian music for a while now, and I heard Leny Andrade and Stephanie Ozer play “Velho Piano” years ago and never forgot it. Singing it with my sweet sister Kate McGarry was a highlight on this project! // “Time After Time” was Dori’s idea, and one of my favorite pop tunes. I feel like I really connected with this one.
This has been getting “my favorite” type of reviews from early listeners!// “High Trapeze” was one of those songs that remains with you for years, written by my very talented singer/songwriter friend years ago here in L.A., Bill Gables. // I was in Japan when I saw the movie “Cinema Paradiso”. The movie’s language is Italian, the sub-titles were Japanese; the story and the music made cry through the whole thing. I had to do “Cinema Paradiso Theme” with the passion-filled Mon David, my brother. // I love great instrumentalists, and I’m lucky enough to be able to hear Bennie Maupin in person in L.A. On his album “Penumbra” is this groovy head, “Message to Prez”, that is a perfect vehicle for my co-founded improv vocal group, “Fish To Birds”. Amazing how it grew…
We did our F2B thing, with percussionist Brad Dutz, then Bevan and I shifted it around for a good flow of sections, and then Bevan did his arranging magic! Bennie came in and createCathy Segal-Garcia's CD The Jazz Chamberd his wonderful magic. // Vince Mendoza is a gorgeous musician, “Ambivalence” has always moved me, and as I’ve done before (with Pat Metheny’s In Her Family, John Abercrombie’s “Hippityville”, and The Yellowjackets’ “Mile High”) I wrote lyrics for it (with Vince’s blessing)and Dennis created a thing of beauty.  // “Universal Prisoner” and “Compared to What” are songs that made me. My college time in Boston was superbly filled with a rich variety of music. 72′-75′ had Woodstock music, Motown music, blues, cool jazz, the beginnings of ECM. Les McCann and Eddie Harris rocked my world. My long-time friend Tierney was the perfect person to have a musical commentary with on these. (at bandcamp you can see how you can get the bonus track on this; Bevan’s social commentary with the song!) // I wanted at least one original of mine, and Bevan had arranged “Sleep in Peace” for orchestra years back, beautifully, so we brought that in with a new arrangement for only strings. This is a lullabye…//
I’d like to deeply thank the 3 arrangers, Bevan, Dennis and Dori, for spectacular music. Thank you to Bevan and Dennis for such smart producing. Thanks to Rhys for excellent engineering. Thanks to Dori for extra care and mixing his songs. The list of the incredible wonderful musicians who played, and each guest vocalist. I know that you all made the magic happen with me.
Thanks to my husband Gary and the rest of my family for understanding my MIA for the last few months while working. To my new singing teacher, Steven Kronauer…the first consistent exciting teacher I’ve had in 30 years, for helping my poor cough-beaten voice out of the hole and back to a reasonable instrument.
Thank you Dan Davilla. For your great and deep kindness, overwhelming acknowledgement and support.
This has been a great life lesson, as my awareness and actions had to constantly be on the mind-bending balance between “control” and “letting go”. Thank you Great Spirit of life, for allowing me to be aware of this lesson. Blessings to us all…

BUY as many tracks as you want and see all the credits: http://cathysegalgarcia.bandcamp.com/album/the-jazz-chamber

 

 

 

 

Image of DAVE DAMIANI & THE NO VACANCY ORCHESTRA At Catalina Jazz Club

The Club was packed with patrons as I arrived a bit late. Waiters were scurrying around the room, as diners were finishing their meals. Dave Damiani came up to the stage the get the show started. It was a bright, shiny show, brimming with talented musicians and featuring singer Renee Olstead. It also featured a surprise or two.

The Scene image of Dave Damiani

The whole evening turned into a celebration of Damiani’s new CD, Bending the Standard The Anthology.

Damiani is on stage as the musicians come on to the stage playing their instruments. It was a flashy tune, like something you’d hear in New Orleans. It was a signal that this was going to be a fun show. Damiani sang “Taking a Chance On Love” as the band played with plenty of enthusiasm. Damiani announced singer Renee Olstead and she began with a slow and sultry “My Baby Just Cares For Me.” Her enunciation is excellent. The band knows when to emphasize a line as she belts out the sassy tune. Nice, very nice version.

“Stormy Weather” was slow, languid and Olstead seemed in no hurry to finish the lament to a very attentive audience. The rhythm section, pianist Gary Matsumoto, Alex Frank on bass and drummer Ryan Shaw, got some time to slow down a bit before the horns took off again with great precision.: trumpets-John Bradley, Walter Simonsen, Javier Gonzales, Dr. James Ford; saxes: Dan Kaneyuki, Ben Burget, Brian Clancy, Alex Budman; trombones-Erik Hughes, Kevin Hicks, Ryan Dragon, Ted Eames. They were superb all evening. Olstead finished the tune with a fine flourish to cheers and whistles!

Damiani returned to the stage to sing “How About You? ” which was quite lovely. The standards never get old and Damiani and his terrific musicians are certainly keeping it fresh. “You Gotta Enjoy Joy,” was a song written by Milton Berle. Damiani did an excellent version of a tune I’ve never heard before. Frank’s slow bass intro to “I Just Found Out About Love and I Like It” was perfect for Damiani’s lively version.

Damiani introduced Maiya Sykes and she joined him on stage to sing “Wives and Lovers.” Sykes is very comfortable on stage and has a voice that reaches to the rafters. The song made for a dramatic version and Syke’s high notes were spectacular. The audience loved their version. What an interesting, surprising night at Catalina’s. Damiani’s 11-year old daughter, Mia, was introduced and she came on stage to sing with Dad. Their version of “The Sunny Side of the Street” was so charming. Mia’s poise was remarkable and she got a lot of applause from the audience.DAVE DAMIANI CD cover

Olstead returned to the stage and went right into “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby,?” then segued into “Bye Bye Blackbird” and “New York, New York.” The packed room was filled with cheers and applause for all the fantastic, talented artists on stage. For the final tune of the night all of the band members sang along with Damiani on “East of the Sun,” ending with explosive ensemble playing as Damiani wrapped up a most entertaining show that was also lots of fun!

Dave Damiani’s latest CD is Bending the Standard The Anthology features 2 discs with two original tunes and 16 classic songs by various composers.

See www.davedamiani.com

 

Myrna Daniels