We had good show at the Savannah Center at noon July 15 with Valerie Gillespie and the Orion Trio. Jerry Bruno was on drums and Davis Collister on bass, along with yours truly Thomas Pizzi on keys. We haven’t seen the room that crowded since the middle of last season and it seemed every table was full, so thank you for the great turnout and to all who signed up for our mailing list.
The Trio opened with the Thelonious Monk tune, “Well You Needn’t” and we brought Valerie on singing “It’s Only a Paper Moon”. A funk arrangement of Eddie Harris’ “Freedom Jazz Dance” was next, followed by a bossa nova version of the beautiful ballad “I’m Glad There Is You” and an up-tempo “I Remember You” by Johnny Mercer and sung by Valerie. We played a funk version of another Monk tune by request which Valerie also sang, probably his most well-known, “Round Midnight”, and then a Latin tune by Dizzy Gillespie called “Wachi Wara” (Soul Sauce), on which Valerie played flute. We finished with the intriguing ballad “Midnight Sun” by Lionel Hampton and sung beautifully by Valerie, and lastly the high energy modal bop tune “Impressions” by John Coltrane.
The band sounded very tight, Valerie played and sang superbly as usual, and I felt we did fair justice to the music by giving each tune it’s own flavor and character. Each one of these noon shows is always a blast for us because you make us feel appreciated, and it’s a treat for musicians to play to an attentive and receptive audience. It inspires us to continue to do our best to present creative and entertaining music of the highest quality we can. If there’s any tunes in particular you’d like us to play, feel free to reply to me. If it’s too hard for us we’ll play something similar with a lot of the same notes in it.
Next month on Aug. 9 at noon we will have Charlie DeChant on tenor sax with us. Charlie is from Orlando and has been the sax/keys with the Hall & Oates band for the last 40 years, who were recently inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. He’s a super smooth player with a great sound, easy going manner and hot riffs, and the band is looking forward to performing with him.
See you there, Tom.