Friday, March 29, 2013

Bud Leeds' jazz quartet in Venice

Bud Leeds
Clarinetist Bud Leeds peppered Friday's Venice Art Center concert for the South County Jazz Club with tunes that became brief two- and three-song medleys. It showed interesting connections between material that was either thematic or of similar structure.  For example: "Autumn Leaves" shifted to "Lullabye of the Leaves" and then "Softly as a Morning Sunrise."

But he had a different motive for the condensations.
He wanted to free some time to showcase the talents of his quartet mates. They included  pianist Bobby van Deusen, bassist-singer Ernie Williford and drummer Johnny Moore.

Bobby van Deusen
Pensacola-based van Deusen is a trad piano powerhouse, drawing keen focus from the audience, and his colleagues, as he dug into a bit of ragtime and boogie woogie, as well as a touch of classical, during his spotlights. The  Philly native performed throughout the Midwest starting in the 1970s. After moving south in 1985, his gigs included work in the Rosie O'Grady's Dixieland Band in Orlando and with Pete Fountain, Al Hirt and The Dukes of Dixieland in New Orleans.

Besides being a rock-solid bass player, Williford is an engaging singer with a keen sense of time and a knack for mining the emotion in a lyric. Treats included his takes on two Hoagy Carmichael gems: "New Orleans" and "Georgia On My Mind." His powerful version of "Georgia" is unlike any other you'll hear.

Moore is a tasty drummer who prefers subtlety over flash. His two or three solo interludes were tasty and interesting. He doesn't try to impress with power and noise. This is a good thing.

Ernie Williford, Bud Leeds, Bobby van Deusen, Johnny Moore

1 comment:

  1. The Bud Leeds Ensemble featuring Jonathan Russell will play Sunday, January 5, 3 PM, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice. The venue is at the corner of Pinebrook (1971) and Edmondson Road. Tickets are available at the door.