Scotty Barnhart and the Count Basie Orchestra make a too-rare and much-appreciated return to the historic venue that bears the name of the fabled Kid from Red Bank this Sunday, with the New York Voices making themselves heard.
“I called him the Chief,” said Count Basie Orchestra conductor Bill Hughes from the stage of the Count Basie Theatre, during a 2004 salute to the late and legendary William “Count” Basie. “He was ‘Bill’ to the well-to-do; ‘Count’ to the common folk… and to the pimps and hustlers he was simply BASIE.”
The baton’s since passed to trumpeter and bandleader Scotty Barnhart, but when the Basie Orchestra returns to Red Bank this Sunday, March 1, it’ll be picking up where it left off: celebrating the legacy of the fabled “Kid from Red Bank” in a too-rare match-up with another long-running institution that bears his brand.
Scheduled as a 3 pm matinee (or “3 O’Clock Jump,” in the pioneer swing pianist’s parlance?), the March 1 concert teams the CBO with a relatively young musical organization that bridges the perceived gap between the 1930s-’40s golden age of American jazz, and the globally savvy sounds of the new millennium — New York Voices.
Like the late Monmouth County native Tim Hauser and his Manhattan Transfer, the NYV quartet (Peter Eldridge, Darmon Meader, Kim Nazarian and Lauren Kinhan) is adept at injecting new life into re-arrangements of Big Band classics, while drawing their chameleon-like colors from musical corners that include Cool Jazz, Brazilian pop, and even classical oratorio. They’ll be joining Barnhart and company in a program that promises to put a new sonic spin to Basie band evergreens, and even add a touch of that Count charisma to some contemporary tuneage. Tickets for this entry in a new slate of Jazz at the Basie offerings ($20 – $39.50) can be reserved right here.
Jazz at the Basie continues Monday night with an encore Red Bank appearance by Diana Krall. The chart-topping jazz singer and pianist — now on the US leg of a tour in support of her latest release Wallflower — will arrive as an artist who’s spent the past few years unfettering herself from many of the “Songbook stylist” expectations that once served to define her to the mass pop audience. Whether exploring Brazilian sambas, 1920s honkytonk favorites or her collaborations with husband Elvis Costello, the Grammy winner goes her own way and packs a few surprises, along with those voluptuous vocals and savory ivories. Here for tickets ($45 – $129).