Monday, December 8, 2008

Jazz Carol Fest 2008

The annual Carol Fest at Community Christian Church serves as an excellent survey of Kansas City's mainstream jazz scene. Yesterday's rendition was no exception. Even Scrooge- a character sometimes identified with Plastic Sax- would have tapped his toes with vigor.

Here are a few of the evening's highlights:

*Millie Edwards was the clear favorite of the capacity audience of about 600. The louder she sang, the more they loved her.

*I preferred Ida McBeth's controlled, emotional reading of "The Christmas Song."

*Angela Hagenbach, accompanied only by James Albright's bowed bass and Tim Whitmer's piano, was also outstanding on "I Wonder As I Wander."

*Bram Wijnands shone brightly on "Let It Snow" and "White Christmas." He played accordion to great effect on the latter.

*Guitarist Rod Fleeman anchored the house band. He demonstrated impeccable taste and versatility on every selection.

*Folk musician Danny Cox was a nice addition. His heartfelt original song allowed Fleeman to cut loose a la Duane Allman.

*Jurgen Welge's fine drumming was punctuated by festive seasonal flourishes.

*Other participants included Max Berry, Tom DeMasters, Everett DeVan, Jim Mair, Al Pearson, Diane "Mama" Ray and Lucky Wesley.

(Original blurry image by Plastic Sax.)

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