Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The A Team scores big with jazz in Port Charlotte

Amanda Carr and Arnie Krakowsky
Massachusetts-based singer Amanda Carr and tenor saxophonist Arnie Krakowsky generally don't perform as a team outside New England, but their Charlotte County Jazz Society concert in Port Charlotte, FL last night demonstrated that they have what it takes to do so. And then some.

What a special musical team. Carr is a quintessential big band singer whose sound and personality also fit very nicely into a small group setting. Krakowsky is a mainstream swing tenor with a brawny sound that harkens back to the Coleman Hawkins-Ben Webster era. He plays the horn with a lilt reminiscent of Lester Young.

Highlights  from their wide-ranging material: Carr's interpretation of "Don't Go to Strangers," George Gershwin's "Soon," and the Peggy Lee/Victor Young tune "Where Can I Go Without You?," Krakowsky's solo on "Flamingo" and his three-song MLK Day-Duke Ellington medley that included "Pie Eye's Blues," "Take the 'A' Train" and Ellington's Coleman Hawkins tribute "One For The Bean."

They'd only met their Florida rhythm section two hours before the gig, but it sounded like they'd worked with pianist Jerry Stawski, bassist Dominic Mancini and drummer Danny Burger for years. What fun they had - and what simpatico.

The quintet: Stawski, Carr, Krakowsky, Mancini, Burger

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