Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bill Saitta and all that Jazz at Backstreet Bistro

Bill Saitta Playing and Singing Up A Storm at Backstreet

Jay Lewis, Bill Saitta, Craig Yancey and James Moody

Craig Yancey

Jeanie Monroe, Jay Lewis and Bill Saitta

Chase Huna, Jay Lewis and Bill Saitta

Bass player Bill Saitta's current group includes  Drummer Jay Lewis,  Sax Player Craig Yancey and Guitar player James Moody. These four finely tuned veteran musicians are producing some of the best Jazz sounds in the valley these days on Tuesdays at Backstreet Bistro.  I have been listening to Bill Saitta play bass and sing for the last couple of years and each time I heard Bill I hear something new and better than the last time I heard him.  Bill Saitta is not just a great stand up Bass player, he is a student of his trade. Bill is always pushing the envelope when he plays and sings, never satisfied with the status quo of music.  He is always looking for better ways to approach his trade.  He is playing better than ever and he has worked very hard over the last year or two to improve his singing skills.  The results are impressive in both areas. Even though Bill is a master musician, he continues to reach out to other talented musicians to help them get work and book gigs. Finally, Bill is one of the few musicians I have know that has applied sound business principles and planning to his trade. I believe this business planning has played a key role in Bill's successful career. 

Tonight was the first time I got to hear Craig Yancey play sax and I was very impressed.  His solos were imaginative and tight. But the quality I liked the most about Craig was the way he projected his love for performing and playing Jazz. Can't wait to hear more of Craig Yancey.

There were two excellent musicians that Bill call up to perform this night,  First, Jeanie Munro delighted the audience with some great singing. I understand that Jeanie is getting married soon and wish her much happiness. I hope I can hear more from her in the future.  Next, 13 year old Chase Huna came up to join Bill's quartet playing his soprano sax. Chase regularly sits in with many groups in the Desert and it is just remarkable how much he improves each time I get to hear him.  Tonight he played a couple of song with the band including a version of Ellington's "Take The A Train" that just cooked!

This particular Bill Saitta group plays at Backstreet a couple of Tuesdays every month. If you love Jazz, call Backstreet Bistro to find out when the group will be appearing again and be sure to make a reservation as Bill usually sells out the space.

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