Steve Ross Sextet
Presents Fred! - Singing & Swinging Astaire
(Steve Ross Website)
Starring Steve Ross on Piano and Vocals
Greg Utzig, Guitar
Brian Cassier on Bass
Tim McLafferty, Drums
Jim O’Connor, Trumpet
Ken Hitchcock, Reeds
Iridium Jazz Club
Kevin Williams, Manager
1650 Broadway, Corner of 51st St, NYC
Ligeti Artists LLC: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Eigo, Jazz Promo Services: email@example.com
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 30, 2006
Songs Arranged by Mike Greensill
Steve Ross, clear in voice and charismatic in presence, brought his sextet to Iridium tonight (He appears each Sunday at 7:00 PM, through June 4, 2006) for a rousing Fred Astaire medley, with favorites like Steppin’ Out with My Baby, A Fine Romance, and Night and Day. Wearing a 40’s hairstyle, bow tie, and red carnation, Steve Ross got his piano to sing too, while adding a percussive tap dance device. The accompanying musicians, on bass, drums, reeds, trumpet, and guitar never upstaged or overwhelmed the vocals and piano, but rather exuded class and brass.
No Strings (I’m Fancy Free) opened with an Oscar Peterson arrangement and full-blast sax and trumpet for full swing effect. Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off and Steppin’ Out with My Baby were played and sung to foxtrot and quickstep rhythms, one faster than the other. The scintillating sax and gentle guitar were especially elegant, while the drums evoked the dance sensation. Iridium, for a moment, could have been a retro hotel club, had we all been attired in white tie, tails, and satiny gowns. Steve Ross followed with The Way You Look Tonight, A Fine Romance, and I Concentrate on You. The latter was enhanced with a bossa nova beat and fluttery flute. Where was Ginger Rogers when we needed her?
One for My Baby (and One More for the Road) and By Myself brought forth the muted trumpet for quintessential ambiance, followed by Cheek to Cheek in a percussive Peabody playfulness with a contemporary sax riff. S’Wonderful was accompanied by an exemplary trumpet, before the bass took the theme, and Steve Ross switched to percussive keyboard backup. A bouncy drum solo followed. Let Yourself Go was slinky and sleek with wild piano dramatics building to a frenetic frenzy. I closed my eyes and imagined all of us in black and white, as the film credits rolled. Check out the Iridium Website for upcoming events.
Steve Ross at Iridium
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower