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:
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.
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.
2018. Glenn A. Mitchell
BUY as many tracks as you want and see all the credits: http://cathysegalgarcia.bandcamp.com/album/the-jazz-chamber
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 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.
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.