Sunday, January 30, 2011
The title of this show was "Boom" and was written and produced by the Callaway sisters. The show was based on the music that both sisters listened to along with millions of baby boomers celebrating the 60's. It is near impossible to pick out my favorites from all the great songs the sisters sang, but I will mention four that personally moved me. First, Ann sang the underappreciated Joni Mitchell's classic, "A Case of You". The richness of Ann's voice and her full understanding of the meaning of the lyric produced a version of this song that could only be described as outstanding. Liz told us that there was only one album that both sisters listened to as kids, the "Tapestry" album by Carole King. Is there any baby boomer living today that did not also love the "Tapestry" album, I think not! The song they sang from this album was "You've Got A Friend". They told the audience that throughout their lives, this has been their mantra. I loved their version of the Beetles classic, "Come Together". It was nice to actually clearly hear all the words to this great song. The last song I want to mention is the great Righteous Brothers hit "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin". There was glorious harmony between these two talented sisters. In truth, there was glorious harmony in every song which was truly soothing to the ear.
Personally, this was one of the most impressive live concerts I have ever attended. If I had to use only words to describe this event the words that come to mind are "Extraordinary", "Impressive", "Moving", "Stirring" and "Emotional". And that's not just my opinion. The second the show ended, the entire sold out audience was up on their feet clapping and cheering for these two remarkable performers.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
The Top 10 Selling Jazz Essentials on iTunes
1. "So What"--Miles Davis
2. "Take Five"--Dave Brubeck Quartet
3. "In a Sentimental Mood"--Duke Ellington/John Coltrane
4. "Summertime"--Ella Fitzgerald
5. "In The Mood"--Glenn Miller
6. "Sing, Sing, Sing"--Benny Goodman
7. "God Bless The Child"--Billie Holiday
8. "My One and Only Love"--John Coltrane, Johnny Hartman
9. "It Don't Mean a Thing"--Duke Ellington
10. "Strange Fruit"--Billie Holiday
Saturday, January 22, 2011
One reason the California desert is so popular is because of "live music" and great musicians are appearing in almost every restaurant. Backstreet Restaurant is one of the strongest supportors of live jazz receive much great customer support because of its "live Jazz" events.
Steve Madaio will be appearing at Backstreet Restaurant every third Tuesday of the Month and you can also catch his act at the Blue Ember restaurant in the Marriott Las Palmas in Palm Desert every Sunday starting at 5:00 pm.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
The last time I saw Jack Jones perform live was in 1965 in Vegas; that's 46 years ago. At that time, I thought Jack Jones was an excellent young singer of popular songs. Over the years, I sort of lost contact with Jack's work until last year when I came across some CDs that Jack had done. I really was surprised by how great he sounded. I finally had the chance to see Jack in person again on Friday evening January 14, 2011 at The McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, California. Jack sang with a 5 piece group led by the brilliant musician Mike Renzi on piano. As it turned out, most of the evening's performances were a showcase for Jack's marvelous voice and phrasing and Renzi's outstanding piano backup. In addition to Mike Renzi, Jack also had his old friend and musical director Vinny Falcon playing piano. If you are a Sinatra fan, you probably know that Vinny Falcon was Sinatra's musical director up until Sinatra's death.
The audience froze when Jack inadvertently tripped. That's when Jack showed what a consummate professional he is. He picked himself up, made light and continued singing without missing a note. A remarkable recovery for anyone but especially for a performer celebrating his 73 birthday.
Jack sang a program of songs from the "Great American Songbook". I thought his interpretation of the Brian Wilson song "God Only Knows What I'd Be Without You" was brilliant. He also did a great job on his version of the David Gates song "If A Picture Paints a 1000 Words" and also the Rod McKuen gem "If You Go Away". Jack Jones even at 73 has remarkable breath control and voice range. He sang some complex songs tonight, and he did not miss one note. While I am sorry that I did not stay up with Jack's career over the years, I am so thankful that I got to hear his work on his CDs and finally got a chance to see and hear him perform in person again. Jack Jones is truly one of the greatest singers of the "Great American Songbook". True to his professionalism, he performed for over 2 hours to a delighted and appreciative audience.
Friday, January 7, 2011
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