Friday, February 8, 2019

An afternoon of pleasant surprises

When clarinetist Bud Leeds pulls together a band for a concert, you can never be sure what you'll get, numbers-wise, but it is a guaranteed good time. Such was the case with his Friday, February 8 matinee concert for the South County Jazz Club in Venice FL.

The band this day included Bob MacInnis on cornet, clarinet and trombone, Bobby van Deusen on piano, Bob Leary on rhythm banjo and guitar, Don Mopsick on bass and Dick Maley on drums. Judy Alexander joined for several vocal numbers.

The big treat - unexpected by many in the crowd - was the guest appearances by Isaac Mingus. The 21-year-old jazz and classical bassist and cellist attends the University of Florida in Gainesville, and performs in the Charlotte and Venice Symphonies, as well as several area jazz bands, including the Pleiades Ensemble.
Mopsick, Mingus

Mingus and Mopsick were front and center for a dueling-basses take on Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To." This arrangement was drawn from bassist Paul Chambers' Bass on Top recording. 

Then Mingus and van Deusen collaborated on Italian Romantic composer Giovanni Bottesini's "Reverie in D minor for double bass and piano." It likely was the only classical piece that has been performed at a SCJC event since the club was founded in July 2010. Later in the concert. Mingus performed two jazz pieces on cello: Antonio Carlos Jobim's bossa nova "Wave" and the Great American Songbook classic "As Long as There's You." No matter the genre, he's a gifted player to keep an eye on.
Leeds, MacInnis

Other special moments:
  • Van Deusen's tour de force version of "How Do You Keep the Music Playing?" Was a tip of the hat to composer Michel Legrand, who died in late January.
  • Leeds and MacInnis teamed up for a twin clarinets take on a "mothers" medley: "My Mother's Eyes" (first recorded by George Jessel in 1929) and Sidney Bechet's poignant "Si Tu Vois Ma Mere" (If You See my Mother).
    Van Deusen, Trumble
  • South County Jazz Club's artistic director (and founding president) Morrie Trumble played tenor saxophone with the band on "Back Home in Indiana." In past concerts, he has only been on stage to make announcements.
Other classic jazz material included "Wolverine Blues," "Royal Garden Blues," "Lady Be Good" and It's a Wonderful World."

The concert was held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice.

Van Deusen, Trumble, Leary, Mopsick, Leeds, Maley, MacInnis

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