Friday, February 17, 2017

A jazz event 50+ years in the making...

To say it was long overdue is an understatement. Joshua Breakstone and Don Mopsick grew up in Linden. NJ. Their families knew each other and sometimes hung out together back in the 1960s, long before either man had any designs on a career in music.

Joshua Breakstone
Guitar modernist Breakstone and Mopsick, best known as the bassist in Jim Cullum's Jazz Band for more than 18 years, performed together for the first time on Friday,. February 17 at a South County Jazz Club matinee concert at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice.

Don Mopsick
Breakstone, 61, is on a two-month Florida tour, cris-crossing the state for a variety of club, concert, jazz festival and master class appearances. Mopsick, 66, now living in Southwest Florida, is one of the region's first-call bassists. They teamed up with drummer Tony Vigilante, a Philly native who moved to Florida a few years ago, for an afternoon of music-making.
Tony Vigilante

"It is amazing to have this reunion after more than 50 years," Breakstone said.

After opening their first set with a blistering version of "Lean Years," a tune from the songbook of Philly guitarist Pat Martino, the trio performed deep and lengthy explorations of seven jazz / Great American Songbook standards.

Breakstone's guitar artistry includes a bright-toned sound and extended harmonic and melodic explorations, finding fresh nuances and ideas in familiar tunes. In doing so, he also offers extended, teasing introductions that sometimes disguise familiar melodies.

His "standards" offerings at this two-set concert were "Star Eyes," "I'm an Old Cowhand," "My One and Only Love," "Nobody Else But Me," "What's New?," "Too Late Now" and "Where or When."

We know the answer to where and when the next reunion will occur. Breakstone and Mopsick will perform again on Friday, February 24 at The Side Door at the Palladium in St. Petersburg with drummer Mark Feinman as part of the St. Petersburg Jazz Festival.

Vigilante, Mopsick, Breakstone

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