146

Basie's Best Plus In Philly

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The legendary Count Basie Band along with top pop/jazz vocalists Diane Schuur, Lizz Wright and Johnny Mathis are some of the star attractions in Philly.

KIMMEL CENTER May 6 had The Count Basie Band led by trombonist Bill Hughes with special guest jazz vocalist Lizz Wright. Hughes has been with the famed Basie band for more than half a century, working with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Ella Fitzgerald with some 15 Grammy-winning recordings. Its heritage goes back to the classic band led by William "Count Basie who wrote jazz history with Lester Young, Jimmy Rushing and Jo Jones.

Hughes said of Basie, "He was a giant in my mind, reserved and quiet with a big stick, you always knew who the boss was. He would quietly let you know who the boss was and where you stood. Acknowledging his long stay with the band, Hughes said, "No one has been there as long as I have, but our baritone sax, John William's, has been there for 30 years. He said the band, "will probably be playing some old favorites such as 'April in Paris,' 'Jumping at the Woodside, 'One O'Clock Jump' and some things they haven't heard, a balance of the new and the old. Melba Joyce, a fine blues singer, was with the band. Added was vocalist Lizz Wright, described by USA Today as a "smoky, simmering talent and who the New York Times said, "has a pitch perfect, full bodied voice. Hughes said he was looking forward to playing Kimmel as a leader and "Philly is one of my favorite places to play. The band concentrated on numbers made famous in the 50's when Hughes joined it rather than the classic numbers from the 1930s when Basie was at his height. The musicians were all powerhouse performers with arrangements that let the audience know what swing was about. Ms Wright has a marvelous voice that was at its most compelling when singing gospel like numbers where she got her childhood start. May 15, the legendary Johnny Mathis will make his Kimmel debut singing classics from his new CD "Isn't It romantic, such as "Misty and "Chances Are. He was never really a jazz singer, but a classic pop vocalist who often worked the jazz clubs.

Kimmel Center, Verizon Hall, Broad and Spruce Streets, 215. 893.1999, May 6, 8 p.m., $29-$70, Basie/Wright; May 15, 7:30 p.m., $76-$100, Mathis.

ZANZIBAR BLUE next weekend has internationally acclaimed jazz-pop singer-pianist Diane Schuur. Blind since birth she is a self-taught pianist discovered by Dizzy Gillespie with Stan Getz as a mentor. She sang with the Count Basie Orchestra garnering Grammy Awards and is working now with the Grammy Award-winning Caribbean Jazz Project. This is her first move in that genre spotlighted by her new CD "Schuur Fire with songs such as "Ordinary World and "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight. The Lynne Arriale Trio will be there this weekend with its 10th anniversary CD, "Come Together. Pianist-composer Arriale won the Great American Jazz Piano Completion in 1933. The New York Times said she is a brilliant musician and her "bandstand instincts place her amongst the top jazz pianists of the day.

Zanzibar Blue, Broad and Walnut Streets, 215.732.4500, 8&10 p.m., May 6-7, $25, Arriale; May 13-14, $35, Schuur.

ANNENBERG CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS May 14 has the last performance of its gospel and blues series with The Holmes Brothers and Sister Marie Knight presenting a tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Annenberg Center, Zellerbach Theater, 3680 Walnut Street, 215.898.3900, 8 p.m., May 14, $19-$44.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie Live From Philadelphia Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 9, 2017
Read Glenn Zaleski Trio at Chris' Jazz Cafe Live From Philadelphia Glenn Zaleski Trio at Chris' Jazz Cafe
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 8, 2017
Read Sittin' In with the Odean Pope Trio at the Kimmel Center Live From Philadelphia Sittin' In with the Odean Pope Trio at the Kimmel...
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 16, 2017
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at Germantown Settlement School Live From Philadelphia Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at Germantown Settlement School
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 30, 2016
Read Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad at Fringe Arts Live From Philadelphia Tord Gustavsen with Simin Tander and Jarle Vespestad at...
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 24, 2016
Read Center City Jazz Fest: Five Years Strong Live From Philadelphia Center City Jazz Fest: Five Years Strong
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie" Live From Philadelphia Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Glenn Zaleski Trio at Chris' Jazz Cafe" Live From Philadelphia Glenn Zaleski Trio at Chris' Jazz Cafe
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at Germantown Settlement School" Live From Philadelphia Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at Germantown Settlement School
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Sittin' In with the Odean Pope Trio at the Kimmel Center" Live From Philadelphia Sittin' In with the Odean Pope Trio at the Kimmel...
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 16, 2017
Read "Chuck Hammer: Blind On Blind" Extended Analysis Chuck Hammer: Blind On Blind
by Peter Jurew
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Jazz Lovers Series: Hugh Hefner" Genius Guide to Jazz Jazz Lovers Series: Hugh Hefner
by Jeff Fitzgerald, Genius
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's" Extended Analysis The Rascals: The Complete Singles A's & B's
by Doug Collette
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom" Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth" Book Reviews Charles Lloyd: A Wild, Blatant Truth
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 25, 2016
Read "Peacemaker Music & Arts Fest 2016" Live Reviews Peacemaker Music & Arts Fest 2016
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.