Monday, December 7, 2009

Review: Jazz Carol Fest 2009

The unrepentantly silly but absolutely delightful lighting of Jurgen Welge's drums near the beginning of the 14th annual Jazz Community Carol Fest filled this curmudgeon with glee Sunday. The capacity audience of about 900 at Community Christian Church treated the two dozen participating musicians like royalty. In turn, they performed with panache.

Here are the moments I most enjoyed:

*The clever arrangement of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" referenced Chick Corea's "Spain." Violist Marvin Gruenbaum's playing on the piece was also spectacular.

*Stan Kessler's sensitive playing on "I'll Be Home For Christmas" was masterful.

*Pearl Thuston-Brown delivered a brief but magisterial "Go Tell It On the Mountain." What a treat!

*James Albright's goofy turn on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" captured the spirit of the season.

*The slinky treatment given to "Do You Hear What I Hear?" was downright scandalous.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)


Anonymous said...

Wow... if I knew Stan Kenton was performing, I definitely would have attended. Sorry, couldn't help myself ;)

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for the catch, Anon. Sadly, it's not the first time I've done that.

Anonymous said...

With a crowd of listeners like that I guess jazz is not dead after all.

Angela's group was great and so was the guitar group.

Tim Whitmer is a master at putting these events together. Anything with his name attached to it draws extremely well. His concert series at Unity has been going strong for 15 years just like this jazz Christmas show.

Thanks for the review.