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The Kitano Jazz Brunch Features the Tony Middleton Trio
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The Kitano Jazz Brunch Features the Tony Middleton Trio

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

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Kitano Jazz Brunch
(Kitano Brunch Web Page)
With
Tony Middleton Trio

Tony Middleton on Vocals
www.tonymiddletonmusic.com

Jesse Elder on Piano
www.jesseeldermusic.com
Kenji Yoshitake on Bass
www.kenjiyoshitake.com

At
The Kitano New York
(Kitano New York Jazz Schedule)
66 Park Avenue @38th Street
New York, NY
212.885.7119

Produced by Gino Moratti

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 4, 2014


The Kitano Jazz Brunch, a buffet and jazz, presented each Sunday in a dining area of The Kitano, is a fantastic experience. I browsed the brunch items, finding smoked salmon, fresh vegetables, cheeses, fresh fruit salad, and more. The hot entrées are on an adjoining counter to the lavish, cold buffet trays, and hot coffee, desserts, and champagne are included as well. The jazz trio is led by virtuoso, Tony Middleton, who was once the lead singer and songwriter of The Willows, a group that recorded his composition, “Church Bells May Ring”. He lived and performed in Paris for many years, and he’s appeared in Broadway shows and onstage with greats, including a gig at The Apollo with Smokey Robinson. Middleton’s trio at Kitano Jazz included Jesse Elder on piano and Kenji Yoshitake on bass.

I stayed for two sets, taking note of Tony’s personal touch, of chatting with the audience between numbers. “Days of Wine and Roses” (Mancini/Mercer) began with Jesse Elder’s peppy piano and Kenji Yoshitake’s smooth bass. For the first few numbers, Tony wore his wide-brimmed West-Coast hat, adding to his strong stage presence. Ellington’s “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me” (lyrics by Russell) was entertaining and dynamic. Kenji took a bass riff followed by Jesse’s retro-styled refrains. “Love Is Strange” (Mickey & Sylvia) and “In Walked Bud” (Monk’s tribute to Bud Powell) were featured today, as well. “Misty” (Garner) was sung with vibrancy and verve. While Tony was crooning “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (Porter), he included a bit of “Stop In the Name of Love” in his arrangement. Piano and bass quickened the tempo with bright chords and phrases. “Moon River” (Mancini/Mercer) and “As Time Goes By” (Hupfeld) followed, to the delight of this Brunch crowd.

The trio’s “My Funny Valentine” (Rodgers/Hart) was evocative and moody, with piano and bass taking an interlude that could have been danceable. “Yesterday” (McCartney), another ballad, was propulsive and joyful, no melancholia here. Some tunes were bluesy, others were rambunctious, and some were both. “What a Wonderful World” (Thiele/Weiss) brought out Tony’s deeply melodic vocal talent. “Pennies from Heaven” (Burke/Johnston) was led by Jesse Elder with a quickstep rhythm and percussive ornamentations. Kitano New York Jazz, curated by Gino Moratti, has fantastic nightly schedules.



Kitano Brunch Buffet
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Kitano Brunch Buffet
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Kitano Brunch Buffet
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Kitano Brunch Buffet
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Tony Middleton on Vocals
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Jesse Elder on Piano
Kenji Yoshitake on Bass
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Tony Middleton on Vocals
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net