|Al Hixon, John Lamb|
He's been holding his weekly jams for a total of 27 years in Sarasota since retiring as a land use planner in New England and moving south to nearby Longboat Key, and has hosted the Monday night jams in season (October through May). at 15 South for nine years. Al is a gracious and congenial host at his jams.
Pro players and amateurs get their shot at local exposure. All are there because they love jazz. The same goes for the crowds who pack the place. When Al really digs what he hears, chances are good that he'll find encouraging work for those players - sometimes with the outfit he fondly calls his Underheard Herd.
One of the newest local Hixon recruits, who climbed those stairs at 15 South after his move to the area this past summer from Maryland, is saxophonist Pete BarenBregge. He was part of Hixon's band at a South County Jazz Club matinee concert in Venice on Friday, December 1, where most attendees were hearing him for the first time. BarenBregge has splendid credentials as a performer, clinician and educator. He spent 20 years as a member of the US Air Force's Airmen of Note, including an extended stint as the Washington-based group's musical director.
Concert highlights included BarenBregge's soprano sax feature on "Emily," Suggs' plunger-mute artistry on Duke Ellington's "In A Mellow Tone," Lamb's stunning arco duet with Reynolds on The Beatles' hit "Yesterday"and Carroll's explorations of Quincy Jones' "Miss Celie's Blues" from The Color Purple soundtrack and "The Nearness of You."
The concert was at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, one of four different venues the South County Jazz Club in using in this, it's seventh season.
|Al Hixon, John Lamb, Pete BarenBregge, James Suggs, Dick Reynolds|