March 27, 2012

Berks Jazz Fest 2012: WMFZ Jazz Stars


The WMFZ Jazz Stars performed late Saturday night at the Crowne Plaza ballroom, the show was broadcasted live by the local TV station Channel 69 WMFZ-TV, which has become an annual tradition. The backing band consisted of guitarist Robert "Wah Wah" Le Grand, drummer Frank "The Third" Richardson and bassist John Dillard. The first featured player was bassist Gerald Veasley who kicked off the proceedings with "Do I Do", interspersed with several funk bass quotes that had the audience sing along, bringing things up to speed. Peter White did his famous rendition of the Isleys classic "Who's That Lady", supported by saxophonist Elan Trotman, later segueing into "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", providing a wicked solo on the distorted acoustic guitar. Keyboardist Brian Simpson stepped into the spotlight with his keytar strapped around his neck, playing "South Beach". Saxophonist Walter Beasley slowed things down with a subtle rendition of Isaac Hayes' "Ellie's Theme" from the Shaft soundtrack. Guitarist Nick Colionne was greeted by the cheering crowd looking awesome in his red suit and white hat, the man knows how to dress! He gave us "Keepin' It Cool", one of his signature tracks. Gerald Veasley played the slow burning "Forever" with the bass as the lead instrument which was just great, before Brian Simpson got the next turn with the romantic "Let's Get Close". Peter White kept things mellow with "Our Dance" from his brand new release Here We Go, complete with a soulful sax solo by Elan Trotman. Nick Colionne turned up the heat again with the vocal "Hard Line" and a fiery instrumental, before Walter Beasley pleased the crowd with his rendition of the Grover Washington, Jr. classic "Mr. Magic", supported by special guest Kim Waters on sax and Gerald Veasley on bass who had an extended solo. The energy level was kept high by Peter White doing his funky "Bueno Funk", along with Elan Trotman on sax. They wrapped up the show with all involved with "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)", giving each artist ample solo space. This was a great fun concert by several of our favorite players.

Posted by Peter Böhi at March 27, 2012 7:46 PM