March 17, 2007

Berks Jazz Fest 2007: Heads Up All-Stars

Berks07_Veasley.jpgSaturday afternoon it was An Afternoon of Heads Up, an all-star event featuring the roster of the Heads Up label. The concert was opened by Pieces Of A Dream which served as the backing band for the rest of the afternoon. Their opening piece gave each member of the band the chance to solo extensively and show their skills, on stage were founders James Lloyd on keyboard and Curtis Harmon on drums, David Dyson on bass and a second keyboard player (regular sax player Eddie Baccus Jr. unfortunately was not present). They played "Wake Up Call" from their latest album Pillow Talk, before the first guest came to the party. It was bass player Gerald Veasley who approached the bandstand from the audience playing his version of "Valdez In The Country" showing his tremendous skills. Then it was the crowd pleaser "Sugar Time" (to be found on his Live At The Jazz Base CD) where he took the lead, while David Dyson took the bass part.

Berks07_Powell.jpgNext was Doc Powell on guitar playing some nice songs from his latest self titled album, among them "Me, Myself & Rio", the Carole King classic "It's Too Late" (where he invited some ladies from the audience to take care of the vocal part) and a great piece called "Circumstances" featuring his Wes-inclined playing. For one song the familiar Berks Jazz Fest horns were added to the proceedings.

Berks07_HeadsUp.jpgThen Joe McBride was brought to the stage to sing a couple of songs, one of them the Norah Jones hit "Don't Know Why", with a sax solo by Marion Meadows and just accompanied by bass, guitar and soft drums. Next was a Bob Marley song "One Love" which went down well with the audience.

After that piano player Bobby Lyle sat at the grand piano and played a beautiful version of Sade's "The Sweetest Taboo", then a gospel-drenched version of "Minute By Minute" and a three-handed piano-version of "A Night In Tunisia" together with the Pieces keyboard players shuffling positions giving each player the chance to shine.

Berks07_Zonjic.jpgAfter that flute player Alexander Zonjic had his share of the afternoon which he used to great effect. He played songs from his last album Seldom Blue, among them the title track which was written by James Lloyd. Alexander Zonjic raised the level of excitement a notch and turned out to be a great instrumentalist and entertainer.

Next star was sax player Marion Meadows who looked as cool as always and played songs from his last two albums Player's Club and Dressed To Chill, his laid-back and sexy grooves were definitely appreciated by the crowd. The rousing finale featured all artists joining together bringing a great afternoon of first rate music to an end.

Posted by Peter Böhi at March 17, 2007 10:08 PM