Monday, February 10, 2014

Zoot and Jug go to church through jazzman Terry Myers

Terry Myers
Saxophonist Terry Myers was the featured guest soloist at Sunday's Jazz at First Church concert series in downtown Sarasota with two excellent sets.

Iowa native Myers, a longtime Central Florida resident best known for leading his Tribute to Benny Goodman Big Band, as well as leading the current edition of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, excels in the small group format in which he was featured at First United Methodist Church.

He was backed by pianist Tommy Goodman, bassist Dominic Mancini and drummer Johnny Moore. They comprise the superb rhythm section for this monthly concert series, which dates back about 15 years.

Two of Myers' saxophone heroes, Zoot Sims and Gene Ammons (nicknamed Jug), both figured into the matinee program. Myers is a clear disciple of Sims and his playing style is reminiscent of Sims' upbeat, glimmering approach to the horn. Myers also took time to tip his musical cap to Ammons, playing "Exactly Like You" with a warm, bluesy sound in the first set that was reminiscent of Ammons' style. Reprising the piece toward the end of the second set, Myers approached the tune with his own Zoot-like style.

Other afternoon highlights: Myers' soprano saxophone take on "Sweet Lorraine" and the band's exploration of his original blues "We're Goin' In."

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