There was an unmistakable Count Basie spirit in the room on a unusually sunny Sunday afternoon, January 11 at the infamous and wonderful "Jazz at the A frame". The "Duke" was a favorite flavor as well, but the main spice was space....and time. Who knows that better than the Master Mind of it - William "Count" Basie?
Kate Reid - Vocalist and Pianist with her swinging quartet brought a nice get an away from it all day to a Jazz devoted audience.
Steve Reid - Trumpet
Steve Barnes - Drums and other percussion
Chris Connors - Bass
Sax, Alto Flute and Concert Flute - Mark Visher
The first set started with a Cole Porter piece, "Let's Do it, let’s fall in love". There was a nice introduction by the bass and drums to Kate's vocal versatility.
Benny Carter's "Only Trust Your Heart" featured a solid bond between Kate and Steve Barnes on Drums. The bass solo by Chris was like silk to feel on one's soul. I'd compare it to a Cappuccino on a winter's day with a Bossa feel.
A beautiful ballad "Stardust" by Mitchell Parrish and Hoagy Carmichael that's quite often performed instrumentally but has been taken on by the great late Nat "King" Cole was performed by Kate, Steve Barnes, and Chris with glory and splendor. Kate's timing and texture was impeccable!
"The Face I love" was performed with a Latin twist.
A piece that Billie Holiday performed with true union blending - "I'm a Fool to want you" was performed with Mark Visher on Sax intertwined with Kate in a hopelessly romantic solo of his own making regarding the forbidden love. Mark was stirring in his delivery.
He also plays Alto and Concert Flute providing an endearing solo selective span throughout the afternoon.
The Duke Ellington, "Just Squeeze Me" encompasses a scat-filled drum exchange between Kate and Steve that was very tantalizing and the trumpet solo by Steve Reid was wonderfully filled with the essence of Jazz.
Kate's link with the members of her quartet was engaging for all the musicians.
On "Do Nothing til You Hear from me"; her vocal interpretation mixed with the bass and drums aspect fused a call and response that was very nice. Steve Reid trumpet speech spoke volumes of masterful soul.
With "In a Sentimental Mood", Kate comes in right on the beat...accented exquisitely by Chris on bass and Steve on drums.
As the incredible Count Basie said, "Space....and Time". The concept was presented in a matchless way by Kate on this one. It is obvious she has been paying keen attention to her mentor and inspiration - Mr. Basie.
The Peter De Rose and Bert Shefter piece, "The Lamp is Low" gave us a howl as the downbeat of Steve on Drums once again lit the fire surging and purging the room of all that wasn't pure in Jazz.
"You Go to My Head" switched gears with a Latin-feel and "No Moon at All" gave the audience a swing touch.
The gem of the evening was a piece performed by Shirley Horn among others, "Where Do You Start?" The heartfelt blues hint could be experienced in the poignant union between Kate and Steve on drums filled the room with a flood of individual personal memories. This treasure was done by request of gracious and Jazz-devoted and extraordinarily knowledgeable host Betty Hoover.
We owe a debt to this wonderful woman who is more than a host but a queen of quintessence, elegance, humility, soul and selfishness. She opens her home and heart to the greatest art form monthly - Jazz.
We are all so very thankful to her for continued commitment to that art form and to all humanity she touches with it in 2009.
Check out the website for future excursions in Jazz.