John Gilbert

John Gilbert

It has often been opined by your 'humble correspondent' that the human voice is the ultimate musical instrument. The ability of the voice to give life to a tune not only by way of the lyrical aspect but by the nuances that it can generate, makes it unique.

Certainly the brasses and the woodwinds and some percussion ie; the Piano can move one from laughter to tears but the voice alone has the ability to send emotions to another level in sensitivity. Pale imitations of the voice though they may

To call last nights performance a 'gig' is like calling the Bolshoi Ballet a dance team from Russia.

A very expensive lithograph of Charlie Parker was on display near the bandstand and it was more than just decoration it was a reminder that this presentation was honoring a man who changed the course of musical history with his genius.

Freddie Redd was right in the middle of the NYC bop scene and was privy to the likes of Bird, Bud Powell, Dizzy et al. Redd is the essence of Powell in spiri

The crowd had thinned out a bit at Tony's Steak and Seafood in Ventura, Ca. The ambiance began to take on the air of a Parisian jazz club. The duo of Drew Salperto at the Piano and Carl Saunders on Trumpet were playing with finesse and controlled fury, there was an underlying sense of urgency to the beauty they were creating, almost as if the moment would end too soon. It was a clinic in flawless craftsmanship.

"Round Midnight" was performed with the delicate nuances that this tune engenders.


Mitch Holder Quartet

Published in Concert Reviews
There have been many exceptional performances at Michael D's Jazz Club, and a few have gone beyond exceptional, entering the rarefied realm of what is known in jazz circles as "Smokin' " or musically "tearing up the joint" On June 14th. Mitch Holder, Ray Pizzi, Domenic Genova and Steve Barnes joined a select group that have made history in this fine venue. (see reviews of Nancy Kelly, Carl Saunders, Mike Melvoin).

To me the word swing connotes a manner of playing that generates excitement or

Pinky Winters (Vocals), Tom Garvin (Piano), Chris Colangelo (Bass), Kendall Kay (Drums)

Pinky Winters cooly swung in her free and easy style, giving respect to the melody and soul to the lyrics. It was an impressive performance.

A leisurely mood lingered on "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" This tune was given new meaning by a slow excursion into sweet romanticism. Miss Winters swank urbanity was in full bloom on this exquisite rendering.

"Early To Bed" featured hip sophistication and


Judy Wexler Quartet

Published in Concert Reviews
Judy Wexler has a sense of time and a innate feel for the lyric, two important ingredients, and when you add clarity of tone to the mix, you have one fine vocalist.

From "Baby, Baby All The Time" to "Get Out Of Town" Wexler cut a wide swath, alternating jazzy hipness on the former and dusky counsel on the latter.

Without a doubt, the ability to stay on pitch is a gift that one is born with and Judy Wexler is unerring in this facet of her musicianship.

Julie Kelly and Denise Donatelli, t

Personnel: Jimmy Dykes (Piano)..Harvey Newmark (Bass) Doug MacDonald (Guitar)..Bobby Shugold (Flute)..Phil Feather (Oboe)..Brian Walsh (Clarinet)..Bob Carr (Bassoon)..Bob Summers (Trumpet)..Jack Coan (Trumpet)..Stephanie O'Keefe (French Horn)..Ira Nepus (TBone)..Bill Reichenbach (Tuba)..Jack LeCompte (Drums)..

Doug MacDonald has assembled a most interesting group of musicians with instruments not often heard in Jazz ensembles. This eclectic mix was obviously well thought out by MacDonald beca

When Nancy Kelly strides on stage and picks up that microphone, an aura of excitement pervades the room. One can feel the electricity in the air that always precedes a special performance.

There are many vocalists with certain attributes that enable them to perform acceptably, Kelly goes beyond this. The magical quality of Nancy Kelly lies in the fact that she has all of the aforementioned attributes, plus the intangibles that make her the "compleat" performer and arguably the top vocalist on

Making her debut at Michael D's with a flair, Denise Donatelli not only charmed a good sized crowd at this classy jazz emporium, (that included the legendary Pinky Winters and L.A. vocalist Judy Wexler), She literally bedazzled the gathered glitterati with a 'swinging' quality that one has to be born with and (sadly) few singers in this day and age possess.

Donatelli's tone is crystal clear, the key is adhered to in every song, remarkably she never goes off pitch which makes for a relaxed lis

Jennifer Hall is an ardent admirer of Gerry Mulligan and his influence is prevalent in her playing but make no mistake, her own imprimatur is stamped on every tune.

It was no surprise that "Bernie's Tune" kicked the festivities off, with Hall leading the way. Her blazing solo was a tribute that Mr. Mulligan would have been most appreciative of. He must have been bestowing his heavenly blessing on the proceedings, because this swing fest got off the ground in a hurry.

The Tenor Saxophone wa