Sunday, January 15, 2017

Concert Review: Paula Saunders at First Baptist Church

I have an extremely low tolerance for nostalgia.  After Paula Saunders repeated an assertion that the music of earlier eras was superior to the music of today, I walked out on her appearance in the Jazz Vespers series at First Baptist Church last Sunday.  If she didn’t believe in the essential vitality of her renditions of standards, why should I?  Deborah Brown, Karrin Allyson and Marilyn Maye are among the vocalists with area ties who specialize in making decades-old songs seem crucial.  Saunders used her lovely voice to mimic her favorite interpretations of familiar songs including “All of Me,” “Fly Me To the Moon” and “Summertime” in the first 30 minutes of her outing.  Admirable support from keyboardist Desmond Mason, bassist Blair Bryant and drummer Justin McCoy couldn't convince me to stick around.

(Original image by Plastic Sax.)

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