The South County Jazz Club's jam session on Tueday nights at Valenti's Allegro Bistro in Venice FL is always a treat, and the reasons vary week to week. It's always packed. And it goes on year-round despite the snowbirds' return to points north this time of year.
Sometimes the musicians seem to be lined up out the door hoping to get a moment on stage. The Tuesday, May 1 edition had fewer sitters-in, which meant more playing opportunities for all participants.
The stellar house rhythm section (Tommy Goodman on piano, Dominic Mancini on bass and Dane Hassan on drums) also spent more time in the spotlight without horns or singers.
The trio gave us something quite magical in the second set. It was a gorgeous rendition of pianist Larry Willis's ballad "To Wisdom, the Prize." Their chemistry was uncanny and the result was chamber jazz at its finest.
A bit later in the night, bassist Don Dean Jr. sat in, giving Mancini an opportunity to shift to alto sax. That's always a treat from this delightful, mega-talented veteran who cut his teeth on the Philly/South Jersey jazz scene.