Saturday, March 24, 2012

At last - a real gig together

Dick Reynolds and Ira Sullivan
Multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan cut his jazz teeth on the vibrant jazz scene in Chicago in the 1950s. Pianist Dick Reynolds was house pianist at Mr. Kelly's in the Windy City for more than a decade. They crossed paths and became friends, but only sat in with one another one time - about 30 years ago during one of Sullivan's trips back to Chicago from Miami, where he has been based for more than 50 years.
The pair finally got a true gig together tonight at the Glenridge Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, FL. The South County Jazz Club sponsored the Ira Sullivan concert, which drew a crowd of about 200 to the state-of-the-art performance space, located on Palmer Ranch. Bassist Mark Neuenschwander, drummer Patricia Dean and flutist Marc Berner (bass and contrabass flutes) filled out the band.
The Sullivan-Reynolds chemistry was solid all night long. Sullivan shifted between tenor and soprano saxes, alto flute, trumpet and flugelhorn, and added some complementary hand percussion with a cabasa on several tunes.
The concert was the first that the South County Jazz Club has held at the Glenridge. I suspect there will be many more - given the turnout and the audience enthusiasm.

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