In the 1980's Tony's Steak and Seafood was the weekend gig site for such jazz stalwarts as Billy Higgins, Leroy Vinnegar, Frank Butler and other luminaries. Last night, January 16, 2004, jazz again made its debut at this venerable venue.
Under the musical directorship of Drew Salperto, who will be the house pianist and booking person, this promises to be a hot spot for the jazz afficionados and cognoscenti alike.
Drew has a musical history that promises to continue the legacy of the aforementioned giants of America's true art form. Salperto has played and recorded with Chet Baker, Freddie Hubbard, Lorez Alexandria, Art Farmer, Bud Shank and the list goes on.
On this the first night of the new jazz policy, and before a packed house, Drew was ably backed by John Hatton on Bass and Joe Corrello on drums.
This fine trio got off the ground and into orbit from the opener "Satin Doll" to the furious tempos of "It Could Happen To You" and "Almost like Being In Love" Salperto's dexterity and ideation were showcased beautifully with every tune. The insertion of blues phrases were perfectly placed and his strong bop influence was felt throughout the evening to the delight of this writer.
This performance was a huge success and thunderous applause permeated the room after every song.
This venue has all the ingredients to be a first class jazz club, the food is great and Ted and Lori the owners and (ebullient hosts) make everyone feel at home with their genuine friendliness, quick service and glorious menu.
As the evening drew to a close both the literatti and glitterati were effusive in their praise for a fine evening of first class jazz.
Tony's Steak and Seafood is located at 2009 E. Thompson Blvd. in Ventura, Ca. 805-643-3322