We had another great turnout and concert at the Savannah Center at noon on May 26th, with guest artist Dean Mongerio on tenor sax. This was our second concert with Dean while he is here on vacation from London, UK, the first being the May 16 dance/concert at the Legion Hall. There’s no doubt he’s a world-class saxophonist and it was a special treat for all who heard him. Dean is a featured artist with P. Mauriat Saxophones and gives clinics on their behalf all around the world. He also has a couple hits on Billboard, is the music director for the European production of “Jersey Boys”, and has his own jazz group in London. It was really an honor to share the stage with him and his great sound.
Thomas Pizzi, Jerry Bruno, Davis Collister, Dean Mongerio
The trio opened with ‘Moanin’, a bluesy swing, and brought Dean on stage with ‘Pennies From Heaven’. Then a bossa nova, ‘Song for My Father’ by Horace Silver; ‘Simple Pleasures’ by Spyro Gyra; the hard swinging ‘Caravan’ featuring Jerry Bruno on drums; the beautiful ballad ‘Harlem Nocturne’, which brought out Dean’s huge gorgeous tone; Davis Collister on bass sang Joe Sample’s ‘Put It Where You Want It’ by The Crusaders; the Latin jazz standard ‘Mambo Inn’, as played by Paquito D’Rivera; and we ended with Sonny Rollins’ bebop classic ‘Oleo’, composed over ‘rhythm changes’, which Davis somehow sang and played admirably while Dean played the melody.
It was a fun concert and we were glad to honor the requests to play the fusion tunes by The Crusaders and Spyro Gyra. If there’s a tune that would be special for you to hear it’s quite possible that given enough time we’ll be able to learn it, if there aren’t too many notes or chords in it. I’m kidding of course, but let us know and we’ll try to play it. Heck, we might even rehearse it first.
I’m still getting comments and emails about the concert at the Legion Hall on 5/16/16, so thank you all very much for your positive feedback and support. I’m very pleased everyone enjoyed the music and dancing so much. After all, that was the main goal. I hope to stage another one soon and of course will keep you apprised.
Special thanks to The Villages News for their article, and TV2 and Villages radio for their coverages of this last show at Savannah. Our next concert is June 17th with the exciting Rudy Turner on guitar and vocals. In July we will feature Valerie Gillespie, and Charlie DeChant in August.
Well, we had a great fun show Monday night at the Legion Hall. Many thanks to all who came and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves. We received lots of nice compliments from the 160 or so in attendance and the added perk of dancing was well-received, judging by the crowded floor.
Personally, I thought the band was pretty darn hot with Dean Mongerio and John Depaola tearing it up on their respective horns, Davis Collister laying down solid bass lines and some cool solos, and the ever-tasteful Jerry Bruno making us sound like a swinging big band. I even had a couple moments where I surprised myself, wondering where a lick or two came from. I felt we got more intense as the show went on, and I was sorry to see it end.
The trio opened with ‘Mountain Greenery’ by Richard Rogers, and the quintet played a good variety of styles, some Horace Silver swing, a hybrid ‘How High the Moon/Ornithology’, a couple funk tunes and ballads, some Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington (which naturally packed the dance floor), and quite a bit of Latin jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie’s ‘Night In Tunisia’. One of my favorites was the exciting Tito Puente version of ‘Take 5’, which the guys absolutely nailed. It’s such a treat working with top level pros. I can put anything in front of them and they make it sound like a million bucks, and with little or no rehearsal I might add.
So, now the first of our evening shows is in the books, and I hope to do more with your continued support. Please feel free to reply and give me any feedback, critiques or requests to help me make these shows the best I can. I thought the Legion Hall did a fine job setting up and serving drinks, and overall everything went without a hitch (except for the rain just as you arrived). Special thanks to Carol Wyant for helping out scanning the E-tickets and to Rich Arenas and Phil Caltabellotta for taking pictures.
Debbie Hurtt assures me there are still a few tickets available for our next show May 26th at the Savannah Center, which will be the trio with Dean Mongerio. This will be your last chance to hear him this year while he is here on vacation from London, and I’m sure after what you heard last night you’ll be looking forward to this one with Dean.
All the best, Tom PZ
I apologize for the dark pics but I had asked them not to use a flash.