The Dan Miller-Lew Del Gatto quartet's weekly gig at the Barrel Room in downtown Fort Myers FL always has a surprise or two, and the Thursday, May 26 edition was no exception.
|White, Mopsick, Del Gatto, Miller
Japanese trumpeter Terumasa Hino, a frequent guest who spends half the year living (and golfing) in Southwest Florida, joined midway through the first set. He and Miller are high-note masters who kept pushing each other higher and higher at every opportunity.
This was a night of jazz and Great American Songbook standards that gave each band member plenty of solo space to put their own stamps on the material. They also treated the crowd to a first-set mainstay for this band: a Jazz at the Philharmonic-style ballad medley, in which each horn player is featured on one segment.
The evening also featured compositions in which their writers put a new melody over the chord changes of another tune. They included Ben Webster's "Did You Call Her Today?" - based on Duke Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone," Thelonious Monk's "Bright Mississippi" - based on "Sweet Georgia Brown" and Tadd Dameron's "On a Misty Night" - based on "September in the Rain." If Dragnet's Sgt. Joe Friday had been a jazz fan, he might have said: "Just the contrafacts, Ma'am."
The second set brought two more personnel additions: tenor saxophone modernist Gerald Augustin, who is a Barrel Room regular, and guitarist Noah Charles. Charles, from Naples, is a University of Central Florida jazz studies major who on Sunday won a $2,500 award at the Central Florida Jazz Society's annual scholarship competition. He was featured on the ballad "All The Things You Are" and the night's closer, the band's take on Sonny Rollins' "Sonnymoon for Two."
|Del Gatto, Hino, White, Miller, Mopsick