The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
By Virginia Ross, Special For The Quill
I really don't know much about jazz or listen to the Blues continually, but the Civic Music offering last Thursday night of David Bennett' Clarinet Swing Kings was a program anyone would enjoy.
From the first note of "Begin the Beguine to the rousing "When the Saints Go Marching In" the audience was tapping feet, nodding in time, slapping their knees or just jiggling with the beat; it was a total absorption experience.
The group composed of Dave Bennett, clarinet; Glenn Tucker, piano; Paul Keller, base; Pete Siers, drums, Jim Cooper, vibes, Hugh Leal, rhythm guitar and the vocalist, Irene Atman gave a rousing program of familiar jazz and blues where one could close her eyes and be transported to an intimate club scene with the mellow sounds of the clarinet, the tinkling of the piano keys, the steady beat of the base, background of the guitar, and frantic pounding of the drums swirling around the auditorium capturing one and all.
Irene Atman added the smooth voice of a cafe singer like many remembered listening to Peggy Lee. Her earthy rendition of "These Foolish Things," "Goody Goody", and "I Got A Right to Sing the Blues" transported the audience back to the sounds of the "40's and "50's and the big band era. A sparkly, sophisticated outfit with 5 inch stiletto heels added glamour to this re-creation of a bygone era.
Dave Bennett, a Benny Goodman look alike, is amazing! He is a self-taught prodigy who began playing the clarinet at 10 years old, but that is not all he can do; he also joined in on the piano for "Boogie Woogie Stomp" and sang "St. James Infirmary"
According to the bio in the program he is "passionate about rockabilly, pop, country, and American "Roots" music" too.
The rest of the group from the 23 year old pianist, the backup guitarist, base player, vibe player to the phenomenal drummer captured the audience with their talent.
The tickling of the ivories, the strum of the guitar, the steady beat of the base and the soul pounding of the drums made jazz and blues come alive in River City.
If you weren't there, you missed a great time but you can go to the www.davebennett.com website and listen in to his music and videos.