The Four Freshmen have been straddling the jazz and pop genres for 66 years nonstop, though the quartet hasn't had an original member in its ranks since 1992. But everywhere they go, they still pack in full houses.
Sunday's matinee concert at Sarasota's was a case in point.Glenridge Performing Arts Center, sponsored by the South County Jazz Club, The gig was sold out more than a week in advance, with more than 200 turning out to hear classic tunes performed by the band's 23rd combination of singer/players.
Harmony vocals are the band's hallmark, bridging the vocal tradition associated with 1940s and '50s swing big bands with groups they inspired, notably the Beach Boys and The Lettermen. Clearly the hunger for that sound and style is still there.
The current lineup consists of Brian Eichenberger (lead vocals and bass), Stein Malvey (vocals and guitar), Curtis Calderon (vocals and trumpet), and Bob Ferreira (vocals and drums). was first established in 2013. Malvey is the newest member, joining the band in 2013.
Most interesting moments: The clever back-to-back performance of the 1952 hit The Day Isn't Long Enough (When I'm With You!)" and its direct opposite, 1950's Pick Up Your Tears (and Go Home)." They also paid tribute to the founding members: brothers Don and Ross Barbour, Bob Flanigan and Hal Kratzsch with a reprise of the band's greatest hit: It's a Blue World." Without those four, this phenomenon may never have happened.