RJ Spangler Trio. RJ percussion. Oliver Nevels, guitar. Gregory Cook on bass (5-string on Sunday.) Special guest music legend Larry Smith on alto sax. George V. Johnson Jr. brought the vocals and - wow - we are appreciative he did.
2 p.m. we got our feet tapping to Sundown, a Wes Montgomery composition. Wes Montgomery's a favorite in our house. From blues to bossa nova, we next heard L'estate (Summer) composed by Bruno Martino 1960, with "In Summer" lyrics by Jon Hendricks. Lost love and dreaming sunsets.
Stella (Stella by Starlight) featured in the 1944 movie The Uninvited. One of my top 5 favorite films starring Ray Milland, Ruth Hussey, Donald Crisp, Alan Napier and beautiful tragic Gail Russell.
RJ shared that Oliver Nevels is the group's filmographer. Talking with Oliver after the concert, he said most popular jazz standards came from film. We don't only enjoy the music mastery, the group is a fountain of music history and lore.
George V. Johnson shared with us the vocals for Summertime. For composer Lou Donaldson's 90th birthday party Johnson premiered his lyrics for Gravy Train. From NYC to South Lyon. Bam.
Charlie Parker's 1954 composition Little Suede Shoes was up next, with Mr. Johnson's 1977 lyrics.
St. Thomas, a Sonny Rollins composition with lyrics also by the amazing George V. Johnson Jr. If you have a reverbnation profile, you can come close to the experience of the live performance yesterday. You can listen to Sonny Rollins perform his composition. And for other film nerds, it's the song featured in the wedding scene in the 1989 movie Working Girl.
Find out more about RJ Spangler Trio, Larry Smith and George V. Johnson Jr.
Here you can read a scholarly paper about the blues influence in Wes Montgomery's music, and his use of call and response technique.
Check here for those who missed the October concert with these music masters. You do not want to miss the next performance! Sunday, 7 May at Salem-South Lyon District Library.
The live jazz music concert was made possible by a grant from the Jazz Foundation of America and the Metro Detroit Book & Author Society 2016 James Dance Performance Grant.