Berks Jazz Fest 2011: Gerald Veasley's Sounds of Philly

The late show Saturday was tagged Gerald Veasley's Sounds of Philly featuring Will Downing, Carol Riddick, Nick Colionne and Walter Beasley, held in the ballroom the Crowne Plaza hotel. The evening turned out to be another sold out show, it was broadcasted live on WFMZ-TV Channel 69.

Bassist Gerald Veasley is a Philadelphia native who handpicked a bunch of artists to recreate some Philly magic that evening. After a brief version of "Nights Over Egypt" and the announcement by Rick Scott, they kicked off the show with their version of "TSOP", before returning to "Nights Over Egypt" featuring Carol Riddick on vocals. Mighty great music they did back in the heydays of the PIR label! Carol gave us her heartfelt rendition of "You Are Everything", before guitarist Nick Colionne stepped to the stage, beautifully clad in a pink suit and hat, playing "Love TKO" providing an early highlight of the show, having the audience sing along. Saxophonist Walter Beasley played Blue Magic's "Sideshow", pleasing the crowd, before the reference to Grover Washington, Jr. in the form of "Winelight" was given, proving Walter Beasley being the perfect choice to perform this song in the spirit of Grover. Then singer Will Downing joined the stage to provide a totally smoothed out version of "Mr. Magic" with Walter Beasley which was a total treat. Then he sang "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" in his inimitable style, which was pure soul bliss. I could go on endlessly, but I won't run down the rest of the show, just let me say that many great artists alternated to give the Philly catalog their reference, all held together by our favorite, Gerald Veasley on bass, who has to be applauded for another great project you only get to hear at the Berks Jazz Festival. The show lasted over two hours and left a satisfied crowed well past midnight.