The Jazz for OBAMA this evening at the 92nd Street Y featured Roy Haynes, Roy Hargrove, Joe Lovano Christian McBride and Aaron Goldberg for openers. Four years ago a stellar group supported John Kerry’s bid for President at the New York Society for ethical Culture. Those appearing at both events were vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater, pianist Brad Mehldau, drummer Jeff Watts and string bassist Christian McBride. 100% of each event ticket was a donation that raised over $62,000. dollars on October 1st this year, Goldberg reported.
The popular singer Kurt Elling might now be called a comedic as MC as well as a flamboyant vocalist on Laurence Hobgood’s "Motherland" with the composer at the grand piano.
Captivating this appreciative audience wearing sunglasses and cool duds Bilal’s unique vocalizing on his original "All Matter" (Bilal Oliver) included a catchy lyric with supporting backup by pianist Robert Glasper, Derrick Hodge-bass and Chris Dave-drums. They all morphed easily into the recognizable "Body and Soul" made famous by the tenor sax originator Coleman Hawkins in 1939.
The stars this evening were: Diane Reeves singing "Morning Has Broken" by Cat Stevens; on "Alone Together" elder statesman Hank Jones (who swings delightfully with an elegance lost on the current generation of robust pianists) was joined by tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano; the svelte Dee Dee Bridgewater then romped across the stage backed by pianist Edsel Gomez on "Compared to What." Kurt Elling interjected afterward "like a Tina Turner."
What was Stanley Jordan playing acapella on electric guitar? Exciting ever changing cheerful melodies via Mozart improvised by taping his fingers (he calls "hammering") that produced a plaintive to hopeful to euphoric feeling while simultaneously we were distracted by his facial expressions that were equally rhythmic. Tonight’s only glimpses of Barack Obama was on his image on Jordan’s T-shirt peeking through his guitar straps!
As Roberta Gambarini came onstage to sing Tadd Dameron’s "The Scene is Clean" Co-MC Dee Dee introed her as a "young talent,"; then Brad Mehldau extemporized "Besame Mucho" with bassist Mann Pennman, and drummer Watts before the finale when everyone joined Ms. Reeves and Ms. Bridgewater for Thelonious Monk's "Straight No Chaser" during which they all joyfully chanted "Vote for Obama, The Audacity of Hope," and "Yes We Can." It was a well-rounded evening of superb with all the performers giving their best for a cause that will change America into a Democratic nation.
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