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It Was A Very Good Year

Singers unlimited could be a more descriptive title for this group of high energy singing sensations under the direction of media mogul Jaymz Bee. Jaymz made mention of the fact that he had a very limited role in leading this group, "I made sure to pick people in the orchestra who are all leaders of their own groups, that makes my job much easier."

The orchestra is comprised of a who’s, who, on the T.O jazz scene. Names such as Juno award winners, Richard Underhill (alto saxophone) and Christopher Plock (tenor saxophone). The fine trumpeter Howard Moore, the award winning trombonist William Carn. An outstanding first call rhythm section under the direction of Dora award winner Waylen Miki (piano) featuring, Artie Roth (bass), Eric St. Laurent (guitar) and Glenn Anderson (drums).

And the unlimited singing sensations who just kept coming at you, one after the other, Heather Bambrick, June Garber, Michael Danso, Julie Michels, Big Rude Jake, Christopher Plock, Terra Hazelton, Howard Moore, Sophia Perlman and 14 year-old singing phenom Stephanie Welton.

With that amount of talent you would assume an opening act wouldn’t be necessary, not the case. Jaymz Bee makes the best of every opportunity to showcase his roster of powerhouse talent. The young, dynamic and extremely versatile Robert Scott opened the show; he performed a beautiful original composition, "Wintersong". An elegant classical sounding piece with powerful undertones and a modern uplifting spirit. At times dark and somber or light and airy with grand pause and sophisticated demeanor. Later in his performance the hyperactive whirling dervish, Great Bob Scott joined the pianist on drums and the show took on a circus like atmosphere. Entertainment was the only game in town. This is a drummer who puts on a show, a very talented drummer. He creates a large percussion section with all manner of effect. He has a million and one tricks up his sleeves and under his bonnet. The two ran through a medley of popular songs that ranged from the Bee Gees to Led Zepplin. Highly entertaining.

The headline act took to the stage and the first vocalist Michael Danso literally kicked it off with a dynamic version of "Sin You Sinners". Up next,Terra Hazelton who sang, "Send Me To The Electric Chair". Hazleton is a throwback to another time, an incredible voice from the era of the grand ladies of jazz and blues. Her voice is growly and gritty, a barrel house blues mamma who sounds as if she has lived a rugged life but looks like a princess. Julie Michaels sang "All Blues" a very sensual vocalist, a cool stylist with the phrasing skills of the masters of jazz vocalese. June Garber gave the "Birth of the Blues" new meaning as she got down and dirty with a powerful rendition. Full rich tones delivered in a soulful manner and hitting some high notes that were truly impressive. Stephanie Welton came on with assuredness and in a very mature voice put everything into "More Than A Little", a clear, pure sound with a pleasant tone.

The smooth toned, husky voice of Sophia Perlman came on strong with "Once Smitten, Twice Shy" she also performed a duet with Howard Moore, "Stormy Weather" a great sounding song with lots of passion.

One of the high light performances was a gorgeous rendition of "Stardust" by Christopher Plock and Eric St. Laurent on guitar. And another was when Heather Bambrick came on as if on fire, she sang a rousing rendition of "Too Damn Hot" performed in double time and just about requiring emergency services to cool things off after her performance.

You would think nobody could follow Bambrick’s performance as the energy level was so elevated. Big Rude Jake managed to bring it, he performed a swingin’ rendition of "Minnie The Moocher" giving the audience a wild ride on his retro swing - punk meets jazz style of excitement. A mind blower of a performance.

The show seemed like a sampler of all these amazing artists, I now have a must see list for many of these singers who I have just sampled and will check out as solo artists. Good work Jaymz Bee.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra
  • Concert Date: 11/23/2008
  • Subtitle: Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra
  • Venue: The Diesel Playhouse
  • City State Country: Toronto
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