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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 28, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 43
A Dyke About Town: Jazz Crusaders, wonderful mellow jazz
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Jazz Crusaders, wonderful mellow jazz

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Louis Prima, Jr.
Reality joined Mercy for Louis Prima, Jr., at Jazz Alley on October 18, because Cuteness had other plans. It was an evening of upbeat classic swing in the tradition of Prima's father. Reality said Junior's interpretations were faster than the originals. He pointed out the pianist, Gregory Fox, played standing up so dramatically that his feet were over his head at points. The rest of the band was equally energetic.

Prima Jr.'s voice was strong. Sarah Spiegel's vocal harmonies were tight. Ted Schumacher's trumpet was hot. Marco Palos' sax was luscious. Philip Clevinger's trombone was out there. A rocking guitar was contributed by Ryan McCaughey.

'Jump, Jive, and Wail' opened featuring piano. 'Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen' showed off Sarah's pretty voice. Sax and fun choreography for the whole band was the focus of 'I've Got the World on a String.' There was also a sax solo on 'Pennies from Heaven.'

Prima said his father was very proud of his Italian heritage and was one of the first people to include Italian lyrics. The song 'Buona Sera' was an example of that. Spiegal had a sweet solo on 'Goody Goody.'

'Sing, Sing, Sing' was Louis Prima's best-known song. The band included a bit of '(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction' and 'I Feel Good' to make it their own. 'I've Got You Under My Skin' was a lovely vocal duet. 'Sunday Kind of Love,' another Prima original, slowed the pace nicely.

'Up a Lazy River' had guitar and sax solos. 'Las Vegas Blues' was also written by Prima. 'When the Saints Go Marching In' was a strong closer. The band marched through the audience, who gave them a standing ovation.

Jazz Crusaders
< Mercy, Cuteness, and Equality ate up the Jazz Crusaders at Jazz Alley October 21. Cuteness has had a passionate love affair with the group since the '70s. Mercy can see why. It was an evening of wonderfully mellow jazz.

Joe Sample's piano was phenomenal, Wayne Henderson's trombone outstanding, and Wilton Felder's sax remarkable. Nicklas Sample, Joe Sample's son, played a funky bass. Doug Belote's drums were right on. Felder told pleasing stories about growing up in Houston.

The group opened with 'Young Rabbits.' 'New Town Shuffle' was a Joe Sample original. 'It Happens Every Day,' also by Sample, was Equality's favorite. 'Eleanor Rigby' inspired Henderson to say the band had opened for the Rolling Stones.

'Hard Times,' a song associated with David 'Fathead' Newman, turned out to have been written by a white man, Paul Mitchell. Cuteness liked that one best. 'Freedom Sound' was written to inspire the civil rights marchers and was Mercy's favorite. It had been written by Joe Sample and had been at the #17 spot on top-40 radio at the time.

'Weather Beat' followed nicely. Felder wrote 'Way Back Home,' which was adopted by the Symbionese Liberation Army as their anthem. The group earned a standing ovation.

Average White Band
Mercy is looking forward to seeing Average White Band at Jazz Alley. They will be there November 3-6. Band members include Onnie McIntyre (guitar, vocals), Alan Gorrie (bass, keys, vocals), Fred Vigdor (saxophone), Klyde Jones (guitar, vocals), and Rocky Bryant (drums).

Average White Band is a Scottish R&B and funk group that has been performing to acclaim since 1974. Their most famous numbers include 'Pick up the Pieces,' 'Person to Person,' 'Cut the Cake,' 'Schoolboy Crush,' 'A Love of Your Own,' and 'Queen of My Soul.' Their music has been covered by more than 200 hip-hop and rap artists, including Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, TLC, and P. Diddy.

You can get your tickets at jazzalley.com.

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