Friday, March 6, 2015

Bill Saitta's Quartet Features Lovely Songbird, Beverly Jensen at Backstreet Bistro

Beverly Jensen, Bill Saitta, Tom Keenlyside and Doug MacDonald

Jay Lewis, Bill Saitta, Tom Keenlyside and Doug MacDonald

Tom Keenlyside

Doug Macdonald
Jay Lewis

Beverly Jensen

Beverly Jensen, Bill Saitta and Tom Keenlyside

Bill Saitta

Backstreet Bistro was jumping again on Tuesday night with Bill Saitta leading a group of talented musicians who play Jazz with a vitality and freshness that one seldom gets to witness.  Bill puts together a different group of musicians every week, and he never disappoints with the music results.  Tonight Bill put together a group that included Tom Keenlyside, the specular Flute and Sax player; the marvelously talented Jay Lewis on Drums and world-class Guitar player, Doug Macdonald.  The music tonight was hot and was more than enough to overcome the cold front that has been in the valley the last couple of days.  Making tonight's performance even more special was the  beautiful singing of Desert favorite, Beverly Jensen.  Beverly has a long, star-singing resume that includes touring with the Dorsey Band for many years, and she still has a wonderful pure voice with perfect pitch.  As great as the band was tonight, the addition of Beverly's sweet singing voice took the music to an even higher level.

Tom Keenlyside never disappoints his audience and tonight was no exception.  He played Tenor Sax with the energy of a twenty-year old and his flute playing has never been sweeter.  Tom also treated the audience with his singing that had everyone cheering.  It's always a treat to hear him perform.  Jay Lewis continues to impress everyone with his Drumming skills.   Jay could teach a course to any young wannabe Drummer on how to use sounds and rhythms to support a band.  Jay is one of the top Drummers playing today.  There are a lot of good Guitar players around today but if you want to hear a great Guitar player, Doug is your man.  Doug's solos are intelligent with clarity.  He is one of the most sought-after players in the Desert.

Bill Saitta was playing his upright Bass tonight to the delight of the capacity audience.  Bill works very hard producing these Jazz shows and never looks for credit.  But he deserves lots of credit for always putting the spotlight on other musicians, preferring to give them all the accolades without consideration to himself.  Without Bill Saitta's efforts, the Tuesday night Jazz series would never have reached its current high esteem among Desert Jazz lovers.  From all of us that come to Backstreet to dine and listen to Jazz, we all thank you Bill!

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