Monday, January 13, 2014

Chops + Chemistry = The Finest Jazz

Harry Allen
Drummer Eddie Metz Jr.'s international trio with bassist Nicki Parrott and pianist Rossano Sportiello brought tenor saxophonist Harry Allen with them for tonight's Charlotte County Jazz Society concert in Port Charlotte, FL. Together they displayed the finest qualities in making jazz.

Each has formidable chops and the chemistry they have developed as a trio - and working together in various other permutations - is a great strength. Allen, who has absorbed stylistic influences from many of the great mainstream tenorists in jazz but parrots none - was the icing on this splendid cake.

Eddie Metz
Throughout the two sets, they explored a lot of classic material deserving of wider 21st century recognition such as Duke Ellington's "Sunset and the Mockingbird," Johnny Hodges' "You Blew Out the Flame in My Heart," Neal Hefti's "Flight of the Foo Birds," and Sigmund Romberg and Oscar Hammerstein's "When I Grow Too Old to Dream." The latter and "Fever," turned into a jazz classic by Peggy Lee, were among Parrott's several fine vocal features.
Nicki Parrott

Flute player Ali Ryerson, who lives in the same Connecticut town as Parrott, was in the audience. She's on her own separate Florida tour this month. Parrott said the pair never see each other "other than maybe at the Brookfield Library. Sometimes you have to go on the road to meet up with your friends."

Rossano Sportiello
The Port Charlotte concert was the mid-point on a 10-day, seven-city Florida tour (see my December 16 posting for more detail), which is celebrating the release of the trio's new Arbors Records CD, It's A Good Day. Kudos to Rachel Domber for keeping the Clearwater-based label going after the September 2012 death of her husband, Arbors founder Mat Domber.

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