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Count Basie

On The Town…. with Chip Deffaa: Count Basie and Louis Jordan

February 28, 2020

I'm very glad that a friend and I were able to enjoy the high-spirited, fast-moving revue "Five Guys Named Moe," which is currently playing   at Westchester Broadway Theatre.    A lot of talent on that stage. Director/choreographer Richard Stafford has found six performers – Tyler Johnson-Campion, Tony Perry, Napoleon M. Douglas, Quentin Avery Brown, Douglas Lyons, Isaiah Reynolds --who do justice to the hits of Louis Jordan. Each has his own personality. Each gets moments to shine individually.  Tony Perry, as I noted in these pages a year ago, was one of my favorites in WBT’s 2018 production of Ain’t Misbehavin’.  And it was good to see him again.  The others in the cast are all new to me.  But they all got well into the spirit of this music.  And their zest was contagious. [more]

The New York Pops: Sophisticated Ladies

November 19, 2015

In this centennial of the birth of jazz great Billie Holiday, The New York Pops November concert was devoted to Harlem Renaissance ladies like Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Dinah Washington as well as Holiday. Titled "Sophisticated Ladies," the evening was graced by three dynamic guest artists, Montego Glover, Capathia Jenkins and Sy Smith, who have a tremendous affinity with this music, along with music director and conductor Steven Reineke who narrated the story of this spirited and electrifying music. Beginning with Sam Shoup’s orchestral arrangement of Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and ending in a rousing encore of “Get Happy,” performed by all the artists, the evening brought the audience to its feet. [more]