All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

5

"In the Mood" at Mesa Arts Center

Patricia Myers By

Sign in to view read count
"In the Mood": A 1940s Musical Revue
Mesa Arts Center
Mesa, Arizona
March 12, 2014

A 13-piece big band revived the music of the 1940s, from Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey to Duke Ellington and Count Basie, accompanying six young singers and dancers in vintage costumes to re-create the music of the World War II era.

The road show was conceived by pianist-director Bud Forrest, former accompanist for the Singing Sergeants of the U.S. Air Force, marking its 20th touring-year during a week of performances at the Mesa Arts Center. The two-hour touring show opened with Forrest's String of Pearls orchestra playing "St. Louis Blues March" that was based on W.C. Handy's 1914 chart, later arranged in march tempo by 1940s bandleader Jerry Gray.

More than 50 songs from the war years followed, including a sing-along to Lionel Hampton's "Hey Ba-Ba Re-Bop" and a peppy song-and-dance routine to Johnny Mercer's "Accentuate the Positive." There were vocal ballads, including "All or Nothing at All" and "I'll Be Seeing You," and a military-salute segment featuring the theme songs of four branches of the armed forces, the emcee asking audience members who served to stand for recognition and applause.

There also were sad songs like "We'll Meet Again" and "The Last Time I Saw Paris," as well as the happier sounds of "It Don't Mean a Thing" and "Bugle Call Rag." Through it all, the agile dancers danced the Lindy Hop and jitterbugged through rapid twirls and remarkable acrobatic moves.

The final selections of "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "In the Mood" were capped by "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)," many in the audience quietly singing along as the show ended.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters at Forest Hills Stadium Live Reviews
Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters at Forest...
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 24, 2018
Read Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad Live Reviews
Danny Green Trio at the Lily Pad
by Doug Hall
Published: June 23, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at Ardmore Music Hall Live Reviews
Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at Ardmore Music Hall
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Broken Shadows at Icehouse Live Reviews
Broken Shadows at Icehouse
by Samuel Stroup
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at Central Park SummerStage Live Reviews
Donny McCaslin Group / Ensemble LPR: Symphonic Bowie at...
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2018
by Doug Collette
Published: June 13, 2018
Read "Joseph Leighton Trio at Jazzhole" Live Reviews Joseph Leighton Trio at Jazzhole
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 4, 2017
Read "Anat Cohen Tentet at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Anat Cohen Tentet at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Daniel Bennett Group at Tomi Jazz" Live Reviews Daniel Bennett Group at Tomi Jazz
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 24, 2017
Read "Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art" Live Reviews Michelle Lordi at Philadelphia Museum of Art
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 10, 2018