Monday, April 14, 2014

A swinging evening for jazz clarinet and more

Allan Vaché
Clarinetist Allan Vaché's mainstream jazz quintet closed out the Charlotte County Jazz Society's 2013-14 concert series Monday night at the Charlotte County Cultural Center with a swinging evening of Tin Pan Alley and jazz standards.

The repertoire ranged from Cole Porter, Duke Ellington and Bob Haggart to the Benny Goodman songbook, with one brief foray to Brazil for Antonio Carlos Jobim's lovely bossa nova "Look to the Sky."
Vaché's band included Jeff Phillips on piano, Charlie Silva on bass, Eddie Metz Jr. on drums, and Bob Leary on guitar, banjo and, in two instances, nonsense-song vocals. Vaché was the gracious host, giving each band member plenty of time to solo. The rhythm section also got its own feature in the middle of the second set with a splendid version of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" that showcased Phillips' keyboard mastery.

The versatile clarinetist has a special affinity for the artistry of Benny Goodman. The two sets included five Goodman-associated tunes, and Vaché shared a funny story about the quirky bandleader as he introduced each of them. The Goodman material included "Stompin' at the Savoy," "Body and Soul," "Avalon," "Seven Come Eleven" (written by Goodman and guitarist Charlie Christian) and "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise."

"The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" was the concert's closing number, and was an appropriate finishing touch. It included a drum solo tour de force from Metz, whose technique and mastery make jaws drop at every concert.
Phillips, Vaché, Leary, Silva, Metz

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