An All-Star Evening Of Exuberant Swing

SOURCE:

Sign in to view read count
Tenor saxophonist Harry Allen and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon headlined an evening of exuberant swing Monday night at the Venice FL Performing Arts Center and their all-star band delivered the goods.

The horn players were joined by the terrific rhythm section of Eddie Metz Jr. (drums), Nicki Parrott (bass and vocals) and Rosanno Sportiello (piano), plus special guest Stephanie Nakasian on vocals.

Gordon shifted with ease between trombone, gritty vocals and slide trumpet throughout the night in this, his first appearance at a concert by the South County Jazz Club, which co-produced the event with the Venice Institute for Performing Arts.

Allen is a premiere ambassador of mainstream swing tenor sax. His finest moment was sharing a beautiful original ballad," Old Joe," which he later said was inspired by reading a short story. Allen has evolved into a fine composer as well as interpreter of jazz standards and Brazilian jazz.

Highlights:

  • Parrott's vocal feature on the Ella Fitzgerald signature tune “You'll Have to Swing It (Mr. Paganini)."
  • Gordon's growling take on Fats Waller's “Honeysuckle Rose," enhanced by Sportiello's stride piano mastery.
  • With muted trombone and bass, Gordon and Parrott turned “Squeeze Me" into a clever vocal and instrumental duet.
  • Nakasian closed the first set leading a rousing version of the Helen Humes blues “Million Dollar Secret." Gordon supported with growling trombone solos and Nakasian responded with her uncanny vocal trombone emulation as they traded four-bar phrases.
  • The band touched on the Duke Ellington songbook with “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" and “Cottontail" to open the second half of the concert.
  • Nakasian joined the band again for the final three tunes, “Skylark," “How High the Moon" and “On the Sunny Side of the Street." On that finale, she teamed up with Parrott for a vocal duet that segued into a bass duet, with Nakasian craftily emulating an upright bass sound. It was well done and effective, much like her vocal trombone.
  • Pretty much every concert by Metz becomes a drum clinic because of his mastery of the instrument, creative technique and joyous support of the other musicians. This was no exception.

Continue Reading...

This story appears courtesy of Ken Franckling's Jazz Notes.
Copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.

Tags

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb17Sun
Heavy Juice With Harry Allen & Scott Hamilton,...
Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa
Newport Beach, CA
$90-75
Apr12Fri
Harry Allen Quartet With Andrea Pozza
Crookes Social Club
Sheffield, UK
£15
Apr26Fri
Harry Allen With The Michael Benedict Trio
The Egg
Albany, NY

Big Band Report
Album Reviews
New York Beat
Album Reviews
Bailey's Bundles
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Multiple Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Podcast
Read more articles
Something About Jobim

Something About Jobim

Stunt Records/Sundance Music
2016

buy
The Candy Men

The Candy Men

Arbor Records
2016

buy
For George, Cole And Duke

For George, Cole And...

Blue Heron Records
2015

buy
‘Round Midnight

‘Round Midnight

Challenge Records
2013

buy
‘Round Midnight

‘Round Midnight

Challenge Records
2012

buy
Rhythm on the River

Rhythm on the River

Challenge Records
2011

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

More News

Performance / Tour
Musical love takes many forms
SOURCE:
February 17, 2019
Performance / Tour
An afternoon of pleasant surprises
SOURCE:
February 9, 2019
Performance / Tour
Have chops, will travel
SOURCE:
January 31, 2019
Performance / Tour
Four Others - and more
SOURCE:
January 15, 2019
Performance / Tour
Swinging style and bebopping finesse
SOURCE:
January 13, 2019
Performance / Tour
There's jazz in his blood
SOURCE:
January 11, 2019