Jazzitalia - Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Celebrates Ilene Glick Barkan's Birthday
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Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola Celebrates Ilene Glick Barkan's Birthday

Music of Lucky Thompson  
New York, 17th December 2009
by Roberta E. Zlokower

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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
Marco Panascia - Bass
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 Marco Panascia 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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