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Eric Reed - Piano
Victor Goines - Tenor Sax
Reuben Rogers - Bass
Rodney Green - Drums
After Hours Set:
Denise King Quartet
Denise King - Vocals
John Di Martino - Piano
Alvester Garnett - Drums
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Todd Barkan, Programming Director
Scott Thompson, Press
Eric Reed, Victor Goines, Reuben Rogers, Rodney Green
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower
Every December at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola, Ilene Glick Barkan,
wife of Artistic Administrator and renowned record producer, Todd Barkan,
celebrates her birthday with friends, relatives, and the Club's jazz fans. This
year, Ilene and friends were serenaded by the spirited music of Lucky Thompson,
a renowned tenor and soprano sax performer and composer. Victor Goines became our
Lucky Thompson, and he could not have done a more splendid job. I had the
honor of sitting at Ilene's head party table, next to the infamous Paquito D'rivera,
the incredible sax performer, composer, author, professor, arranger, and raconteur,
who performs at Dizzy's with his own band on New Year's Eve. Paquito's wife, Brenda
Feliciano, was at the table, too, and numerous jazz greats, friends of Paquito,
and friends of Ilene stopped by. Todd Barkan, Dizzy's Programming Director, was
ebullient and charismatic, as he greeted the sold-out crowd.
Victor Goines opened on swinging soprano sax, accompanied
by Eric Reed on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Rodney Green
on drums, all accomplished artists, well known at Jazz at Lincoln Center. The first
piece of this second set, Lucky Thompson's "Soul Lullaby", was melodic
and transporting, with danceable, vivacious rhythms. The mood at Dizzy's was immediately
joyful and jumping. Be bop jive abounded through the Club. Eric Reed has
a professional ease that drew my eye, even with the piano at the far end of the
stage. His riffs were hot and lively. Reuben Rogers' bass accompaniment enhanced
this piece with mellow passages, while Rodney Green's drums were blended,
yet playful. After all, this was a party. Victor swapped soprano for tenor sax throughout
this set, resulting in nuanced differences in music and tone.
"Reminiscent", also a Thompson composition, was played along with "Lucky
Strikes", and we first heard a slower, meandering swing, boldly building in piano
intensity. Soon Eric took off on rapid solo sequences, repeating the theme with
urgent harmonies, before Victor, once again, brought the theme back home. Reuben
Rogers' solos were next, digging deep into the musicality and enriching its
soulful quality. Victor soon added his own tenor solo, backing up the beat with
more danceable fervor. The audience whistled and hooted in enjoyment. By the end
of the set, it was time for Rodney Green's showcased riff, and his drums
were on a fast ride back in time. This Birthday Set ended in a blaze of brilliance.
The Denise King Quartet took the final "After Hours" set, with Ilene's
birthday cake served and Todd Barkan in a rare serenade, "The Good Life", recorded
by Tony Bennett in 1963. The set began
with Ms. King's velvety vocals, tranquil and seamless. "Polka Dots And Moonbeams"
became sultry and sensual, as Alvester Garnett used feathery light brushes,
John di Martino played stylishly on piano, and
provided delicate bass detail to the mellifluous moment. Duke Ellington's "Take
the "A" Train" included Marco's a sumptuous riff and Alvester's steady tempo,
while "My Favorite Things" was a perfect choice for a festive evening. Todd's solo
song was hopefully the start of something big, as they say. His artistry is seasoned
and suave. Happy Birthday, Ilene, who left the club with bouquets and kisses. On
the way out the door of the Time-Warner Center, I bumped into dancers from New York
City Ballet, whom I also review; what a night!
Todd Barkan Serenades Ilene and Dizzy's Club Guests
Courtesy of Roberta E. Zlokower
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Publishing Date: 17/01/2010