Thursday, October 8, 2015

Exploring the Great American and Jazz Songbooks

Danny Sinoff
Singer-pianist Danny Sinoff let his piano chops carry most of the load Thursday when his trio opened the South County Jazz Club's 2015-2016 matinee season at the Venice (FL) Art Center. While he is busy with steady club gigs, principally in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte, this was Sinoff's first appearance in Venice.

Sinoff is best known for his vocal talents - and a repertoire that is heavily weighted toward the Frank Sinatra songbook - but on this afternoon his material drew from many sources - including composers Isham Jones, Cole Porter, the brothers Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Mercer Ellington, Cy Coleman, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern and Thelonious Monk. 

Sinoff is a fine singer, but a close listen to his inventiveness at the keyboard reveals that he's a formidable pianist as well. His trio-mates were his longtime bassist Sherrell McCants and drummer Tony Vigilante, both of whom are skilled timekeepers and excellent improvisers and have impeccable bandstand chemistry with Sinoff.

Danny Sinoff
Highlights among the afternoon's 16 tunes were his freshened take on the Ahmad Jamal-associated jazz burner "Poinciana," a romp through Thelonious Monks' "Blue Monk" and a piano-and-vocals version of Brooks Bowman's "East of the Sun (and West of the Moon)," which has been recorded by Sinatra and many other jazz vocalists. 

He wound down the afternoon with his own version of Weill's "Mack the Knife," which he introduced in a way the song isn't generally thought of - as an ode about a serial killer. 

Those who missed Sinoff's artistry in Venice, can catch up with him Tuesdays and Fridays at JD's Bistro and Grille in Port Charlotte, and Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Roadhouse Cafe in Fort Myers.
Danny Sinoff, Sherrell McCants, Tony Vigilante

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