|Steve Neilen, Yarek Urant, Pat Rizzo and Jim DeJulio|
All photos courtesy of Herb Koenig, photographer of the music stars of the Desert!
Take a look at the faces on the group picture above and it will give an idea of the quality of music the Pat Rizzo Band is performing at Vicky's. This was my first visit back to Vicky's to see Pat's group and the music was better than I remembered. First of all, Pat is "the man" when it comes to tenor sax playing in the Desert. And his singing keeps getting better all the time. Pat has a great range and a keen sense of timing that allows him to sing the great songs perfectly. Whether he is singing a Sinatra or a Bennett song, the results are always very satisfying to his audience. He also plays wonderful flute with seemingly no effort. Just a wonderful performer to see and listen to. However, tonight I noticed that the other members of Pat's group, Jim DeJulio, Steve Neilen and Yarek Urant were just outstanding and far better than when I heard them last year. First of all, in my opinion, Yarek Urant is one of the best pianist in the Desert today, if not the best. If I were a singer, I would want Yarek on the keyboard without a doubt. Yarek brings a soft refreshing, emotional touch to the piano that most pianists just never get near.
Jim DeJulio is a joy to not only listen to but to watch. If anyone ever had the desire to play the upright bass, this is the bass player they should study. Jim has played with the best of the best in the music world, and the reason is very simple. When it comes to the bass, he is in a class of his own. Every time I hear Jim play he reminds me of one of my heros, the great Ray Brown. And if anyone thinks your bass playing compares with Ray Brown you are at the top of your game and Jim certainly is in this class!
Steve Neilen completes this group perfectly and always keeps the group in a perfect groove. Together, the four piece Pat Rizzo Band is one of the most talented musical groups ever to play in the Desert or anywhere else for that matter. Don't leave the Desert until you get to hear them at least once!
Carol Hampton was in the audience for tonight's performance and sang a couple of great standards in her usual great voice and style. Carol's stage presence always makes her a great additional to any venue.