I am biased when it comes to Michelle ‘Evil Gal’ Willson; she is a friend, a cousin of a life-long friend, and a great singer. Still, I say without reservation that she is a consummate entertainer who is worth your time to see. She performed her brand of jazz/blues/soul music recently at The Extended Play Sessions at the Fallout Shelter.
I have seen Mike perform with a variety of musicians, from Eric Johnson with whom he recorded an incredible album in 2014 to numerous session musicians.
I thought I knew what to expect from Victor Wooten, the amazing bass player who coaxes notes from the strings that I have rarely heard from other bassists. I was wrong – Victor delivered a show that was mind-bending and better than any show of his I had seen. The sold-out audience at Regattabar was the lucky recipient of this goodness.
On this evening, the night after the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, the French band Dorado Schmitt and the Django Festival All-Stars appeared at Regattabar. They began the show with a moment of silence for the victims and also had a candle of remembrance burning on stage.
Dedicated to the gypsy jazz stylings of Django Reinhardt, Dorado bears a resemblance to Django (could it be what looks to be a false mustache that does it?).
I would be less than honest if I said anything less than “Al DiMeola is one of my favorite musicians, jazz or otherwise”, and his performance last night at the Berklee Performance Center supported that opinion.
Al made a triumphant return to his former stomping grounds (I suppose I can’t call it an alma mater since he never graduated) on Halloween for the last show of his US Elegant Gypsy & More 2015 tour.
When I read that Freddy Cole would appear at Regattabar, I knew I had to be in the audience. I never had the chance to see his famous older brother, Nat King, because I was too young when he died at a young age but I did not want to miss Freddy and have any regrets about it.
I am happy I attended one of his shows; Freddy may be 83 years young, but his piano playing is still top-notch and his voice lovely.
I am a huge fan of the jazz guitar great Mike Stern. Even though I had seen him perform a number of times, I had never seen him with his own band until last weekend when I attended the last of his four sold-out (or nearly sold-out) shows at Regattabar.
Mike is an incredible performer in terms of both his talent and his performance style.