Friday, August 17, 2012

You don't always get what you expect

Danny Sinoff quartet
Tonight's jazz outing in Port Charlotte FL was a fine reminder that the finest moments in jazz often involve something unexpected.
It was jazz trio time, with pianist-singer Danny Sinoff in his weekly Friday night gig at JD's Bistro & Grille. But the trio format only lasted through the first set, as Miami-based percussionist Carlos Salazar then joined the band. Sherrell McCants was on upright bass and Rich Iannuzzi was at the drums.

The highlight: their Latin-flavored, stretched version of a tune that not too many piano players tackle today, perhaps out of admiration of or deference to Ahmad Jamal. He has updated his signature song "Poinciana" every time out since he first recorded it in 1955. (A live version recorded three years later in Chicago was on the charts for two years).

The Sinoff quartet's version of "Poinciana" was built around Jamal's distinctive vamp, but they slowed it, teased it and built the energy as Salazar and Iannuzzi traded rhythmic accents - and stoked a steady fire.

Two nights earlier, pianist Billy Marcus, bassist Dominic Mancini and drummer Patricia Dean were in JD's spotlight. Marcus's solo intro to "It Might as Well Be Spring" was drop-dead gorgeous, as was the trio's take on "Dream Dancing."

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