The Spirit of Giving by Jim Santella
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The Spirit of Giving
It's fitting that Jane Fuller closed her first set with "Route 66, since Café 322 is located just north of historic Route 66 in Sierra Madrewest of Pasadena and east of Azusa. The highway that brought thousands to Southern California during the Great Depression and following World War II continues to excite the imagination of vacationers every year. Along its path lie many opportunities for adventure.
On a cool spring Friday night, Jane Fuller brought her band into town for two sets of swing and straight-ahead jazz. They gave us an evening that rocked, an evening that swung, and an evening that we hoped would never end. Dishing out accompaniment and delivering some stirring solo work were Riner Scivally (guitar), Alan Steinberger (piano), Randy Landas (bass) and Jim McCarty (drums). Scivally was particularly compelling, his multi-faceted technique evoking memories of such guitar greats as Wes Montgomery, Grant Green and Joe Pass.
During her first set, Fuller sang "I've Got The World On A String with class, "I'm Beginning To See The Light with conviction, You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To with delicate spirit, "Pennies From Heaven with sincere gaiety, "On Green Dolphin Street with a subtle samba mood, and "Route 66 the way it's supposed to be sung...with swing. She has quite a following, and for good reason. The program was filled with good vibes all night long.
The second set brought an equally engaging program, including "Sunshine Of Your Love, "West Coast Blues, "Scotch And Soda, "No Moon At All and "All Of Me. Each song featured creative soloing from the band, convincing and literate lyrics, and the excellent vocal control that Fuller demonstrated on her '03 album, You're Coming Back Again.
Fuller closed with a sensual arrangement of "Fine And Mellow three little words which perfectly summed up the evening.
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