Hi Jazz Fans,
Our first news letter in quite a while. We’ve had a couple shows since the last one plus a performance at the first ever Villages Jazz Festival in March. At noon Friday, Aug. 24th the Orion Trio played to a full audience at the Savannah Center, and our featured guest artist was Valerie Gillespie on sax and vocals. Jerry Bruno from The Villages kept the time on drums, Pat Gallo from Orlando provided the bass lines, and yours truly Tom Pizzi hit a few keys. We haven’t performed together since May and it felt great to be back in the saddle with these fine musicians.
The Trio led off with a spontaneous arrangement of “A Foggy Day” by Gershwin, and brought Valerie onstage with “I’ve Got the World on a String” by Harold Arlen. Next, Valerie played the haunting bossa nova “Morning” by Claire Fischer on soprano sax, and then Pat launched us into “Cold Duck Time”, an Eddie Harris funk tune. The original bossa nova that started the whole genre was “Chega de Saudade” (“No More Blues”) by Jobim, sung beautifully by Valerie, and was followed by Dizzy Gillespie’s “Tanga”, an up tempo Latin tune that featured an extended drum solo by Jerry.
It certainly was time for something relaxing after all that, and Valerie sang the lovely ballad “The Very Thought of You”. We closed out the set with a funky arrangement of “Nature Boy” and Charlie Parker’s favorite tune “Cherokee”, which I think was as fast as the rhythm section could play without falling over. I’m always amazed at Pat’s stamina on bass to hold up through 10+ choruses at those tempos plus play a solo. As usual, Valerie’s bop solos were stellar as were Pat’s and Jerry’s, and it was a super end to an exciting show.
Our next performance is Oct. 11 and will feature our good friend Charlie DeChant, saxman with the Hall & Oates Band. Most of all, our deep thanks to all of you who came out and gave us your support and appreciation. You are what keep us going and why we do it.
Straight ahead, Tom PZ
The Orion Trio with Valerie Gillespie and Brittany Luberda Sams, star of “Life Could Be a Dream” at the Studio Theater, Tierra Del Sol.
From L: Tom, Valerie, Brittany, Jerry, Pat