Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bill Saitta Hosts Another Great Jazz Party at Backstreet Bistro

Jay Lewis, Bill Saitta, Craig Yancey and Linda Peterson
Bill Saitta

Craig Yancey

Jay Lewis

The Great Linda Peterson

Tom Keenlyside, Bill Saitta and Craig Yancey

Ron Kalina, Jay Lewis, Bill Saitta & Craig Yancey

Bill Saitta & Chase Huna
Tuesday night is always Jazz night at Backstreet Bistro.  On Tuesday April 8th, Bill Saitta put together a sensational group of musicians who put on a wonderful Jazz show to the delight of the standing-room only Jazz-loving crowd.  Tonight's music was particularly special because of the addition of everyone favorite singer and keyboard player Linda Peterson.  Linda has not been in the Desert much this season, but tonight she reminded us of how good a performer she is.  It was somewhat strange seeing her as a side-man, but the results were outstanding for the audience and the group.

Craig Yancey played Soprano, Alto and Tenor Sax tonight and he was very, very  impressive.  His tone on all three Saxes was superb and he played his heart out on every song.  I have heard Craig play before, but I have never heard him play as well as he did tonight.  Great work Craig!

Bill Saitta was on Bass and again showing us how hard he has worked to produce fresh, intelligent solos that set him apart from other Bass players.  Bill's growth as a Bass player and a singer continue to surprise all of us.  In addition, Bill deserves recognition for putting together the music lineup for the Backstreet Bistro Tuesday night Jazz series.  It's never the exact same players but always top draw talent.

Jay Lewis continues to play impressive drums night after night.  Jay is a Drummer with soft hands and plays with great taste.  He never overplays, provides perfect tempo and when called puts together very tasteful solos that seem new each time you hear one.

We had some really outstanding musicians sit-in tonight also.  First, world-class flute player, Tom Keenlyside joined the band and the fun.  Then one of the greatest Harp players in the country, Ron Kalina showed the audience why ballads from the "Great American Songbook" are still being played 100 years after they were written!

The evening concluded with a performance by 14 year old Chase Huna.  Jazz lovers in the Desert have seen Chase sit in with various Jazz groups since he was 10.  Tonight's performance was the first time I had an opportunity to hear Chase this season. It proved that Chase has arrived.  He has his own style, and his solos were new and creative.  I am sure it won't be long before we see Chase performing full-time with his own group.

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