The Trio played to an enthusiastic crowd at The Savannah Center last Saturday night with guest artists Valerie Gillespie, sax and John DePaola, trumpet. Davis Collister was on bass, Jerry Bruno on drums, and Thomas Pizzi on keys. The dance floor was packed at times, and judging by the reaction to each tune the show was quite well received. It was nice to play an evening show as opposed to our usual afternoon concerts, and was even nicer to hear Valerie and John together onstage after so many solo appearances with the Trio. They teamed up for some awesome section work, and their solos often resulted in a lot of back and forth call and response which was a treat to listen to.
We opened with Spyro Gyra’s “Freetime”, a fusion tune alternating between a beautiful melody and funk sections, followed by Paquito D’Rivera’s “Samba for Carmen” and Cedar Walton’s hard driving swing tune “Bolivia”. Then we opened up the dance floor as Valerie sang “At Last”, “All of Me”, and “Blue Moon”. Our bassist Davis finished the set singing the Latin tune “Sway”.
The second set opened with just the trio playing Chick Corea’s “Got a Match?”, an up-tempo fusion tune off the “Elektric Band” album. Normally the trio opens the beginning of the show, but this tune was so fast and intricate we thought it better to wait until we (and the audience) were warmed up a bit. Next came a funky Freddie Hubbard tune, the title track from his album “Super Blue”. Valerie sang her popular blues song “Big Fat Daddy”, and then more dance numbers: “Jersey Bounce”, made popular by Benny Goodman; Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”, sung by Davis; Harold Arlen’s “I’ve Got the World on a String” and Sammy Cahn’s “Teach Me Tonight”, both sung by Valerie. We ended the show with an audible on stage, the jazz standard “On Green Dolphin Street”.
I know the band had a great time with the music and performing for our usual appreciative audience, and thanks to all of you for coming and your many warm comments. Hopefully we will be able to produce more of these evening shows later in the season. For now, we’re looking forward to Oct. 21 with John DePaola at our next noon show at The Savannah Center.
See you there, Tom PZ