Thursday, February 26, 2015

Trish Hatley and Barney McClure Create Musical Magic at Woody's On Mondays

Trish Hatley

Barney McClure

Trish & Barney

                                                                 Trish, Barney and Lenny Kaye

Something really special is happening at Woody's on Monday nights.   Beautiful Trish Hatley is superbly singing some of the greatest songs out of the "Great American Songbook" and is paired with fabulous Keyboard player, Barney McClure.  I saw this duo last year but they surprised me tonight by singing duets that included wonderful harmonies.  Trish and Barney have been performing together for several months and they have merged their personalities into a powerhouse entertainment machine.  Trish has a quick, sharp mind and Barney plays the perfect straight man role for her comments.  They capture their audience from the very start of their performance and never let them go.

Trish is singing as good as any Jazz singer today and Barney is playing outstanding keyboard in a manner unlike any of the other keyboard playing today.  Together they put on a wonderful musical show.  This is a show you must see, and I guarantee you will enjoy every minute.  Trish and Barney perform at Woody's every Monday starting at 6:00 PM.

At tonight's performance, Trish asked Lenny Kaye who was in the audience to sit in and sing a couple of songs with Barney on Keyboard and Trish playing drums with brushes.  Lenny is a very talented and professional singer with a beautiful rich voice that is perfect for the Standards he sings.  Tonight, he did an especially good job singing the "Nearness of You".

I found a "YouTube" of Trish Hatley singing "Attitude of Gratitude" so you can hear her wonderful voice and singing style.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New Play Review: Yve Evans Stars in " A Handful of Nickels and Dimes" at the Indio Performing Arts Center

Desert fave, Yve Evans is staring in a Musical Comedy, "A Handful of Nickels and Dimes" at the Indio Performing Arts Center.  Yve had a major part in supplying the musical glue for this comedy which opened on Friday February 20th to a capacity house.  The play takes a look back at the days of Vaudeville and Burlesque.  It was written by two talented actors, Jeanette Knight who also was the director of the play and Michael Seneca.  You don't have to be over the age of 50 to enjoy this comedy.  It is fun for all ages to experience what the theatre was like from the turn of the century through the 30's  The play gives tributes to some of the most loved Vaudeville stars including George Burns and Gracie Allen played by Jeanette Knight and Michael Seneca and Will Rodgers played by Justin Blake.   There are lots of other great Vaudeville acts including Katlyn Day and Steven Kaufman doing "Man On The Street" and Dean Apple playing a very funny magician act that the audience loved.   The music is wonderful from the one and only Yve Evans.  A couple of special moments are experienced with Yve magnificently singing two songs that were trademarks of the great Bessie Smith.  Yve also thrilled the group with her rendition of "Skylark".

The cast of the show is made up of experienced veterans of Broadway shows who perform marvelously in all the different skits in which they appear.  It includes some really memorable skits including one that had Yve performing as the headmistress in school for a group of incorrigible youngsters who had everyone in the audience laughing.  The comedy at times is corny and that's what makes you laugh.  A lot of the comedy used in Vaudeville was "Double Entendre", a knack of using words that could have two meanings, one of which would be slightly naughty.   It may be a simple approach to comedy but from the reaction of the audience, it still works!

The play will be running on Weekends until March 22nd and the cost is very reasonable, only $26.00 for Adults.  For information and Tickets call 760-775-5200.

Friday 2/27/15
Sat      2/28/15
Sun     3/01/15

Friday 3/13/15
Sat      3/14/15
Sun     3/15/15

Fri       3/20/15
Sat      3/21/15
Sun     3/22/15

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Rose Mallett Performs To a Sold Out Crowd at Woody's in Palm Springs

Rose Mallett
The last time I heard Rose Mallett sing was two years ago at the Encena Country Club in Palm Springs.  I thought she had a beautiful voice and her phrasing was very polished.  Now, hearing her sing at Woody's on Friday night, she has evolved into someone far more than just a great singer.  Rose Mallett is now a wonderful entertainer.  From the moment she stepped on to the stage, she had total control of the audience.  She immediately connected to the audience with conversation and stories that gave us all of in the room the feeling we were old friends.  Rose has her only style of singing and it was interesting to see how she approached some of our favorite standards and maked them hers.  Rose is now almost always fully booked during the week at many different venues, but you can usually catch up to her at Woody's in Palm Springs.

Tonight, Rose picked some of the Valley's best musicians to support her singing.  Jimmy Dykes on Keyboard, Desert favorite, Bill Siatta on upright Bass and Tim Pleasant on Drums.  I strongly recommend that you visit Woody's on Friday nights to hear Rose sing, it is worth the trip.
Jimmie Dykes 
Bill Saitta

Tim Pleasant
I have posted a picture of one of the great service-persons at Woody's, Delia because she does such a wonderful job and makes the Woody's Jazz experience even better!

I found a "Youtube" video from a couple of years ago of Rose singing "It's Impossible" that I know you will enjoy hearing.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CD Review: Deanna Bogart's "Pianoland"

One of the brightest stars musically performing in the Coachella Valley this year is Deanna Bogart.  I first saw Deanna when she was playing her Tenor Sax with Pat Rizzo.  I thought she was good but I had no idea how talented she was until I saw her perform at Woody's a few weeks ago.  Deanna is a dynamo on stage and a lot of that excitement has been captured on her latest CD, "Pianoland".  On this CD, Deanna gets to showcase not only her wonderful Keyboard playing but also her marvelous voice and world-class composing skills.  On this CD, Deanne sings and plays with a blend of Country Rock and R & B.  But she also shows that her musical roots include music from years ago when she was learning her trade.  Deanna wrote 6 great songs for this CD.  The lyrics for these songs tell stories that are interesting, and I am pretty sure express Deanna's life experiences.  My favorites were Cut# 1, "In the Rain" Cut#4 "Couldn't Love You More" and Cut#9 "Pianoland".  Also included on the CD is Deanna's own styling of "Over the Rainbow" and  two fabulous Boogie Woogie classics, "Boogie Woogie Boogie" written by Errol Garner and "Death Ray Boogie" written by Pete Johnson.  My guess is that it has been a long time since you heard anyone play Boogie Woogie and Deanna's versions on this CD are hard to top!  Cut#6 "I Love The Life I Live" pretty much states how much she love her music. Deanne's songs are a perfect fit with her voice.

I highly recommend this CD!  Deanna is fun to listen to and this CD can give the listener a clear picture of all of her talents.  Interesting to note that Deanna has chosen to use both Electric Bass and Upright Bass in her band.  This produces a wonderful driving rhythm that supports Deanna's voice and singing style perfectly.

Deanna has selected a top-draw cast of supporting musicians for this CD:

Deanna Bogart: Acoustic Piano, Vocals, Arrangements, and Producer
Scott Ambush: Electric Bass
Mike Aubin: Drums
Dan Leonard: Guitar
Jeff Reed: Upright Bass

1. "In The Rain"
2. "On And On And"
3. "Boogie Woogie Boogie"
4. "Couldn't Love You More"
5. "Where The Well Never Runs Dry"
6. "I Love the Life I live"
7. "Death Ray Boogie"
8. "Over The Rainbow"
9. "Pianoland"
10. "Blues At 11"
11. "Close Your Eyes" 

I found a couple of "Youtube" videos of Deanna that will give you a good taste of the range of her talents.  The first one is a Boogie Woogie tune"Down The Road" with Del Pushcart on Tenor Sax. The second and third videos are of songs from her previous CD entitled, "Just A Wish Away": "If You Had Crying Eyes" a duet with Chris Jacobs and  "Just A Wish Away".  

                                               "Down The Road With Del Puschert"

                                                      "If You Have Crying Eyes"

                                                           "Fine By Me Good Bayou"

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Carolyn Martinez Is Impressive at Vickys on Tuesday Nights

Danny Flahive and Carolyn Martinez

Danny Flahive, Carolyn Martinez and Bob Corwin

Ken Steele

Danny Flahive and Bob Corwin
Ken Steele & Carolyn
Don Fraizer, Ron Kalina and Carolyn

Jack Pena, Don Fraser, Shelly Yoelin, Danny Flahive and Bob Corwin

Carolyn Martinez continues to impress large audiences on Tuesday nights at Vickys in Indian Wells, CA.  Carolyn has been performing on Tuesday nights for the past couple of years.  When she first started at Vickys, her audiences were small because not many music fans were familiar with her voice, but it did not take long for the word to get out.  Now she draws large crowds that always include some of the finest musicians performing in the Desert, a sure sign of their respect for her singing ability.  I first heard Carolyn sing 3 years ago, and I became a fan immediately.  Carolyn has a strong, pure voice that when combined with her deep emotional feel for lyrics, makes a powerful performing statement.  I think Carolyn is at her very best when singing Brailizan tunes.  But that's not where her talent ends, she is a terrific Jazz singer and she handles great standards with the skill of a seasoned pro.  If you have not heard Carolyn recently, you need to be at Vickys on Tuesday nights, and I personally guarantee you will love her singing.

Carolyn also is very careful about the quality of supporting musicians she brings with her to her gigs.  She only asks the most experienced pros to work with her.  Tonight was no exception with the marvelous Bob Corwin on Piano and Danny Flahive one of the best Bassists in the West on Bass.  These two seasoned pros could make any singer advance their singing to a higher level.  This duo with Carolyn's beautiful voice was just about perfect!

During tonight's performance, quite a few musicians came by to support Carolyn and sit in with the Trio.  First up was Ken Steele, an extremely multi-talented singer/composer/arranger and producer.  I would love to see Ken have the opportunity to sing on an evening of his own.  He has a beautiful mellow deep voice and his phrasing especially on Standards like " The Nearness of You" are dead center perfect.  In the meantime, I will be happy to hear him sing in almost every place there is live music.  The fact that all the top musicians always ask Ken to sit in and sing a couple of songs is a tribute to his wonderful singing talents.

Also sitting in tonight was Tenor Sax great, Shelly Yoelin, Don Fraser on Drums and Jack Pena on bongos.  

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Eric Lindstrom Performs at AJ's On The Green

Eric Lindstrom

Beverly Jensen & Eric Lindstrom

Francesca Amari & Eric Lindstrom

In case you have not heard, AJ's on the Green located inside Date Palm Country Club in Cathedral City now has live music 7 nights per week.  Eric Lindstrom , known to many as a terrific Trombone player gets to perform on Keyboard and Vocals.  AJ's has turned into a Jazz supper club and owner/chef Art Herrera and co-owner John Farrow are also serving excellent food.  Eric show is part of the Monday series called "Acoustic Stew" Mondays which includes his playing and singing and also allows for lots of Valley entertainers to sit in during the evening.  The club has a really low key vibe and the line-up of various musicians performing during the evening provides a lot of relaxed fun.  

Tonight among the many performers on hand, I was especially impressed by Beverly Jensen and Francesca Amari who sang beautifully with accompaniment from Eric.  

In addition to playing wonderful Trombone in several groups here in the Desert, Eric Lindstrom also turns out to be a wonderful keyboard player and vocalist.  Eric is universally liked by all of the musicians in the Valley and is considered one of the "Good Guys" of the Valley music scene.  Eric will be back at AJ's on Sunday from 11:30 to 2:30 and on Monday, March 2 from 7 to 10.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Johnny Morris is Back At Backstreet Bistro on Mondays

There is good news for all lovers of great piano music and the best songs from the "Great American Songbook". Johnny Morris has started his 3rd season at Backstreet Bistro and plays from 6:00 to 9:00 every Monday night.  Johnny Morris is highly respected by all of the best musicians in California and for good reason.  He can play everything from accompanying vocalists or leading a swinging band or Dixieland band.  But I think Johnny is at his best playing and singing the great songs from the "Great American Songbook".  Tonight was Johnny's season opening Monday night at Backstreet Bistro and the outside terrace was crowded with fans who love the music Johnny plays and sings.  Johnny has one of the best musical memories of any performer I have seen. During his performance, he repeatedly asks the audience for requests and without hesitation plays the tune without reference to any sheet music.  But what is even more impressive is that Johnny can sing the lyrics of these songs without hesitation!  Johnny Morris is a polished professional performer but his mastery of the piano did not come over night.   Johnny has spent his entire adult life honing his musical skills.  During his career, he was musical director and played with Kai Winding regularly at the New York Playboy Club.  He also toured with the Buddy Rich quintet traveling around the world including Brazil, the Far East and India.

The setting at Backstreet Bistro could not be better.  Having dinner outside on the Terrace with Johnny at the Keyboard ten feet away playing some of your favorite songs is priceless.  And the food and service at Backstreet is also tops!  

For your listening enjoyment, I have found a "YouTube" video of the Buddy Rich Quintet playing "B.R. Blues" with Johnny Morris on Piano.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

CD Review: Tom Keenlyside's New Release, "Musica Brasileira", Music For Jazz Flute

I have had the pleasure of listening to Tom Keenlyside play Flute and Saxophone for the past several years.  When I say, "Pleasure" that is exactly what I mean.  Tom is an amazing musician and a gentle and caring human being.  Tom's career has spanned four decades and during this time he has performed and recorded with many of the biggest and most talented names in the music world.  I'll name just a few: Diana Kroll, Harry Connick Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Jon Bon Jovi, Oscar Peterson and David Foster.

Tom is Canadian and he has been spending his winters in the California Desert for the past 4 years. Tom has dedicated the last 40 years of his life and energy to music much like a master oil painter.  In order to paint a truly beautiful picture a master painter must visualize his subject for long periods of time, sometimes years before he can produce the emotion that he feels from the subject.  So too, a great musician like Tom Keenlyside has spent almost his entire adult life studying sounds, lyrics, instruments and rhythms of every kind of music he could get his hands on trying to understand its emotional message.  This was the foundation for his desire to record a CD of Brazilian music.  Tom's journey started  in the Spring of 1963 and continued through his trip to San Paulo in 2007.

Tom wrote the cover notes for this CD and rather than paraphrasing his brilliantly written and emotional words about how this project came about, I'll let Tom tell his story:

" In the Spring of 1963, I was treated to my first exposure to Brazilian music in the form of the iconic "Girl From Ipanema".  I was astonished by how present, clean, and well, frankly, perfect the music sounded.  Dry and sonically unadorned, the harmonies and stark melodic beauty of Astrid Gilberto's voice dazzled from the hi-fi like diamonds: the sound had an enormous effect on my early teenage ears, and would continue to influence my Jazz playing throughout much of my career.  Later in my teens, I sought out the works of the Brazilian greats, and gradually acquired a vague inkling of saudade, the longing woven throughout much of Brazilian melody and harmony.

In 2007, I had the great fortune to spend time in Sao Paulo and Rio, listening to and playing with some of the great players in Brazil today.  Impromptu Rodas or Chore jam sessions would pop up out of nowhere. The unearthly joy of sitting on Rogerio Souza's front porch playing "Doce de Coco" jamming "Noites Cariocas" with 200 others in the park under a giant banyan tree, or playing "Desafinado" with the great mandolinist Izaias Bueno de Almeida was irrefutable and magic."

It's obvious Tom would have made darn good writer also!  After all the years of Tom's inner feelings about Brazilian music,  he decided the time had come to record some of the songs that have been in his mind for years and "Musica Brasilia" was born.  The CD has 13 songs including two original songs Tom composed.  Cut 9, "Feather in the Wind" written by Tom is a beautiful song that is gracefully rhythmic, and if you close your eyes you can see a feather gently floating in the wind.  "A Raposa" a wonderful song was also written by Tom with Mike ONeill.  The background voices in this recording are haunting and Tom's Flute solo is excellent.  Most of the other songs on the CD will be familiar to you.  If you are a lover of Brazilian music, you should own this CD.  It is available on "CD Baby".

Tom brought together a talented group of musicians:

1. Tom Keenlyside- Flutes, all Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
2. Michael ONeill- Acoustic and Electric Guitar,; tracks 2,5,8,12
3. Bill Coon- Acoustic and Electric Guitar; tracks 3,4,6,7,9,11
4. Bill Saitta- Acoustic Bass; tracks 5,11,12
5. Rene Worst- Acoustic Bass; tracks 3,4,6,7,9,11,13
6. Jeff Olson- Drums; tracks 3,7,9
7. Dennis Burke- Drums; tracks 5,11,12
8. Liam MacDonald- Pandeiro and Credo; tracks 2,4,5,12
9. Angela Kelman- Vocals; tracks 7,8,12
10. Jennifer Scott- Vocals; tracks 4,6,11,13

Tom Keenlyside did all the arrangements except track 8 done by Tom and Michael Neill. Walter Keenlyside did the Album design.

1. "Flauta So' "Triste"
2. "Brejeiro"
3. "A Felicidade"
4. "Carinhoso"
5. "Biruta"
6. "Eu Te Amo"
7. "We and The Sea (Nos e o Mar)
8. "A Raposa"
9. "Feather In The Wind"
10. "Corcovado Intro"
11. "Corcovado"
12. "Assanhado"
13. "Brazil"

I found a "YouTube" on Tom Keenlyside performing with the group "Altered Laws" at the 2011 Vancouver Jazz Festival that I know you will enjoy.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Star Spotlight Shines On Linda Peterson At Backstreet Bistro

Linda Peterson
A lot of my readers have lunch at Backstreet Bistro on Saturdays to hear Linda Peterson perform in the courtyard.  Linda is an extremely talented Keyboard player, Vocalist, Arranger, Composer and all-around good person.  That is why she has fiercely loyal fans who turn out no matter where she is performing.  Tonight was Linda's night to shine and she wasted no time singing and playing the music she loves.  She became so engrossed with her music that she forgot about even taking a second break.  Linda just did not want to leave the stage to the total enjoyment of the capacity crowd at Backstreet.  Tonight Linda was supported by rock solid Jay Lewis who usually plays in a quartet with Bill Siatta.  Tonight Jay was really rocking and showed us a little more of what he could do.  Jay is a marvelous drummer and any Jazz buff would welcome him into any group.  He never disappoints!  Joining Jay was Kelly Corbin who seemingly keeps getting better and better.  I have only seen Kelly playing Jazz in a quartet with Bill Siatta.  I like to describe his playing as "Sax on steroids".  Tonight, Linda was playing some great ballads from the Great American Songbook and Kelly surprised me with his sensitive riffs and solos around Linda's sweet voice.  So Kelly Corbin can play ballads, who knew?

At the end of the night's program, Linda invited up Jeannie Norris to sing and she sang with
the ease of a seasoned pro.  Then Linda pulled the great Carole Hampton up to sing some blues which brought the audience to its feet.  I never get enough of Carole's singing and always enjoy her when she sits in.  Linda Peterson will be performing again at Backstreet Bistro on Tuesday, February 3!
Jay Lewis, Kelly Corbin and Linda Peterson

Kelly Corbin and Linda Peterson

Jay Lewis

Jay Lewis and Kelly Corbin

Jeannie Norris

Carole Hampton Singing And Having Fun


CD Review: John Vanore, "Primary Colors"

Trumpeter, Composer, Producer, Educator and Bandleader John Vanore has just released a long-forgotten studio recording of a duet he reco...