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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 3 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 31
A Dyke About Town: Ramsey Lewis electrifies Jazz Alley
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Ramsey Lewis electrifies Jazz Alley

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN A&E Writer

John Pizzarelli Quartet
Reality joined Mercy for the John Pizzarelli Quartet's sold-out performance at Jazz Alley, July 24. It was an evening of jazz standards in John's pleasing voice. His guitar was delicious. Piano by Larry Fuller was luscious. John's brother, Martin Pizzarelli, played a funky bass. Reality said the guitar fingerings were nice.

They opened with 'Will You Still Be Mine.' 'Lemon Twist,' 'Lady Be Good, 'We Three,' 'Satin Doll,' 'In a Mellow Tone,' 'Don't Get Around Much Any More,' 'She Says So,' 'Harvest Moon,' 'Ruby Baby,' and 'Drunk on the Moon' followed well. The quartet ended with 'I Like Jersey Best' in the style of Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, and Billie Holiday.

Seattle Chamber Music Society
Mercy and Reality attended the Seattle Chamber Music Society's free concert at Volunteer Park, July 25. Organizers were expecting 200-300 people, but close to 1,700 were there.

The concert opened with Dvorak's 'Sextet for Strings in A Major, Op. 48,' with James Ehnes, Che-Yen Chen, Marcus Thompson, Robert deMaine, Amy Schwartz Moretti, and Andres Diaz. The rendition was passionate. Reality pointed out that Dvorak always ends intensely, making sure the audience is awake. A tight version of Tchaikovsky's 'Souvenir de Florence for String Sextet, Op. 70' followed, with the same musicians.

Ramsey Lewis Electric Band
Reality also joined Mercy for the Ramsey Lewis Electric Band at Jazz Alley, July 26. Lewis's piano was phenomenal. Guitar by Henry Johnson was hot. Joshua Ramos' bass was soulful. Drums by Charles Heath were rhythmic. Reality said every one of the musicians was amazing.

They opened with an upbeat 'Wade in the Water,' featuring piano and bass. Lewis and Johnson were the focus of the slow 'The Way She Smiles.' 'Dear Lord' and 'Blessing' (an original) featured Ramsey and Joshua. The fast 'Brazilica' featured piano and guitar. Lewis and Johnson were the focus of the slow 'In the Still of the Night.' A gospel medley featured Ramsey and Henry.

Piano and drums were the focus of the fast 'Sun Goddess.' It earned a standing ovation. 'The In Crowd,' Lewis's most famous original, featured Ramsey, Henry, and Joshua. The crowd gave that one a standing ovation, too.

Tracy Nelson
Mercy and Cuteness are really looking forward to seeing vocalist Tracy Nelson at Jazz Alley. Band members are Larry Guthrie (keyboards), Chris Leighton (drums), John Morton (guitar), Garey Shelton (bass), and Kelly Harland (backing vocals). They are touring in support of her new release, Victim of the Blues. They will be at Jazz Alley on August 7 and 8.

Nelson has been recording the blues since 1969. In 1974, her duet with Willie Nelson, 'After the Fire Is Gone,' was nominated for a Grammy. Her 1998 collaboration with Rounder Records labelmates Marcia Ball and Irma Thomas, Sing It, garnered a second Grammy nomination.

Spyro Gyra
Mercy and Cuteness are also looking forward to seeing Spyro Gyra at Jazz Alley.

Band members include Jay Beckenstein (sax), Tom Schuman (keyboards), Julio Fernandez (guitar), Scott Ambush (bass), and Bonny B. (percussion/vocals). They are touring in support of their newest release, A Foreign Affair. They will be there August 9-12.

Spyro Gyra is an American jazz fusion band that was formed in the 1970s. 'Shaker Song' and 'Morning Dance' are their most famous hit singles.

You can get tickets for Tracy Nelson and Spyro Gyra at www.jazzalley.com.

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