Jazz standards and Great American Songbook material were blended with a bit of stride piano, and material associated with singers Billie Holiday, Helen Humes (the blues "Million Dollar Secret"), Ethel Waters and Lee Wiley. Nakasian's engaging lyrical treatments were enhanced by O'Brien's keyboard mastery.
In the spirit of the season, Nakasian treated the audience to "Christmas is Really Creepin' Up on Me," a clever, swinging tune that Mopsick wrote about 15 years ago - so long ago, he told me between sets, that he had forgotten about it. Nakasian said she plans to record the song next year.
Swift, a junior at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music, was a pleasant surprise for most in the room. She sang three numbers during the afternoon, including a most interesting take on "September in the Rain." As part of an assignment at school, Swift wrote her own vocalese lyrics to saxophonist Lester Young's instrumental solo on his recording of the tune. Swift has remarkable finesse and an uncanny sense of swing. She also has tremendous vocal range that will serve her well.
|Stephanie Nakasian, Veronica Swift|
|Hod O'Brien and Stephanie Nakasian|