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Jazz pulls heartstrings

Yvette Best

Jazz pulls heartstrings

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A LOUD GROAN echoed through Frank Collymore Hall on Thursday night.
It was from a near-capacity audience which could not deal with the fact that the show was about to come to an end.
The second night of the Jazz’N Barbados series saw people braving the rain to see and hear Malcolm Griffith and his Electric Band and the Rhea Drakes Quartet with trumpeter Shawn Layne as guest artiste.
And based on that groan at the end, the exclamations, loud applause and cheers in between, the trek was well worth it.
Vocalist/drummer Malcolm Griffith got the show under way with a set that showcased the skills of every member in the group, three of whom are currently pursuing music at the Barbados Community College (BCC), two (BCC) graduates and visiting drummer from Spain, Dunato Goyeneche.
Griffith and “his friends” satisfied the appetite of jazz fans with Nothing Serious, Salima’s Dance, Invitation, Book’s Bossa, I’m So Glad There’s You and My One and Only, which were sung by Griffith accompanied by Richard “Bill” Evans on double bass, Caravan and Sticklicker.
The other musicians in the group were Joseph Callender, Kevin Lynch, Matthew Squires, Stefan Walcott and Dunato. Dunato thrilled the audience with an instrument he brought from Spain, called the bell. The steel pan-like sounds were sweet to the ear.
Rhea Drakes and crew picked up from where Griffith’s group left off and took things to a higher level in the second half, throwing in a lot of “fun” things as Drakes referred to it.
Green Dolphin Street and St Barbade were two of the more popular pieces from an audience perspective, and it had everything to do with the level of musicianship displayed by Drakes, Layne, David Burnett, Kirk Layne and Mario Porchetta.
The other selections Waltz for Debby, Since I fell For you, Would You Take My Hand, Amelia and Joy Spring were also well received.
Porchetta did some “wicked” things with his stool, cum drums, in St Barbade, at times using the heel of his right foot to enhance the sounds.
The piece of the night was arguably the Drakes original Mainstreet’Lypso, a fusion of calypso and “anything else”, which brought the show to a brilliant close.
That number had people dancing in their seats and tapping along to the enticing rhythms.
It also featured a friendly duel between Burnett, the drummer, and Porchetta.
Fans could not get enough, and Drakes and crew obliged with an extended session of Mainstreet’Lypso. They continued well on into the night with a jam session at Peronne Gap, Worthing, Christ Church. (YB)