Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday jazz with a B-3 twist

Stan Heffner and Katt Hefner
Singer Katt Hefner and her brother, Pittsburgh-based Hammond B-3 player Stan Heffner, brought their own brand of holiday cheer to the South County Jazz Club's Venice Art Center series this afternoon in Venice, FL.

The B-3 is a distinctive instrument in jazz, and any opportunity to hear it played well is welcome. Stan Heffner is one who knows how to dig in and make it smile, moan, cry and testify.

Holiday material was in great abundance - from traditional tunes like "Greensleeves" and "The Christmas Song"to the lovable "Christmas Time is Here" from "A Charlie Brown Christmas." They also tackled a few swinging standards. Drummer Joe Renda was featured in an extended take on "Little Drummer Boy."

Highlights: a take on "Let the Good Times Roll" that included a bluesy "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" segment and Hefner's soulful interpretation of "Go Tell It on the Mountain."

The second set also included "Silent Night," which the singer dedicated to Newtown, CT's 26 elementary school shooting victims and their relatives. Many in the 100+ crowd joined in with heart-felt harmony.

Last week's victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School included 6-year-old Ana Marquez-Greene, the daughter of saxophonist Jimmy Greene. Ana's funeral is scheduled tomorrow in Bloomfield, CT.

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