Way over 100 shows in 2012- a personal record!
I’ve been a jazz fan since I went to the Playboy Jazz Festival as a kid- something about the sophisticated music and upscale atmosphere instantly changed my music listening habits for the better. This was the first time I was able to make it out for a show produced by the Smooth Jazz Network at the Canyon and I’m glad I finally did. Led by guitarist/ music director Terry Wollman, The Jazzmatics exhibited undeniable talent from the first note to their encore. They did a lot of familiar tunes in a “smooth jazz” format- and it was a real uplifting performance in a nice setting. The masterful Luis Conte played percussion (he was also with CTA at the Canyon last night) and the rhythm section with Ricky Lawson on the drums and the incredible bass playing of Reggie McBride made for a remarkable show. The band was rounded out by Leslie Smith and Melanie Taylor on vocals, Lee Thornburg on trumpet, Nick Lane on trombone, Tom Evans on sax and Greg Manning on keyboards- each one a very accomplished musician.
At one point, they started with a Chuck Mangione tune and segued into a jamming version of “Pick Up The Pieces”. They also played the popular Candy Dulfur song (“Lily Was Here”) and some other top-notch jazz favorites. The song “I Wish” from Stevie Wonder was a definite highlight of the show that really got the crowd going. They also did a jazz version of a Doobie Brothers song “Minute by Minute” (Larry Carlton also did a good version of that song around 20 years ago, which won him a Grammy and was one of the songs that got me hooked on jazz when I attended my first Playboy Jazz Festival ), and “In The Stone” from Earth, Wind and Fire was their encore to cap off an awesome performance. Allen and JoAnn Kepler have a great thing going with this band and the jazz concerts they produce at The Canyon Club. If you appreciate good jazz and enjoy a nice night out seeing a great band, then be sure to check out The Jazzmatics!
Phenomenal bass playing and drumming in their version of Patrice Rushen’s “Forget Me Not”:
Some other songs from their remarkable set: