L.A. JAZZ SCENE
March 2009 - GIG REVIEW
Cathy Segal-Garcia’s Wednesday Night Jazz Jam at the Smokehouse
Eight years and still going strong! This was Cathy Segal-Garcia’s eighth anniversary birthday party held at The Smokehouse in Burbank, complete with balloons and cake. The Wednesday night Jazz Jam started at the Sportsmen’s Lodge eight years ago and a few months ago found a new home at The Smokehouse. Segal-Garcia, her trio, her friends and many guest musicians graced the stage to the delight of her full-house audience.
Segal-Garcia started the evening with an up-tempo version of “Cheek to Cheek” followed by a haunting bossa called “Wait for the Night.” She introduced her very capable trio with Eddie Olivieri on piano, Bill Markus on bass and Jack Le Compte on drums. These musicians are consummate professionals backing the variety of performers that this venue demands. The star is Segal-Garcia, who knows how to call the tunes, pace the sets and keep everything moving, but above all, she can sing.
After the introduction we hears conguero, Van Gray, recite a special poem that he extemporaneously wrote for this anniversary occasion. Over a soft jazz background he expounded on the history, the music and the camaraderie that this event has come to represent.
After the opening tunes by Segal-Garcia and her trio we saw the procession of musicians and singers take their turns showing off their talents. Kim Richmond and Jeff Snow, both superb alto sax players, did their thing on jazz standards such as “I’ll Remember April.” Ruben Ramos sat in on bass and Gary Bloomer played a few tunes on piano. Gene Stone and yours truly played drums. Next came the singers. Dini Clark sang and then scatted a chorus of “Sweet Georgia Brown,” terrific performer Devra Warren sang the blues standard, “Sweet Home Chicago,”, John Dressler sang the challenging “Spring Is Here,”, Sammy Cahn’s “Day By Day “ was sung by Linda Smith, Cynthia Askew sang her usual “Satin Doll,” , Maryann Reall sang the beautiful ballad “The Nearness of You,”, Cheryl Barnes sang a swinging version of “Watch What Happens” and Ann Mack sang the Rodgers and Hart standard “My Funny Valentine.”
Segal-Garcia and her Wednesday night jam session at the Smokehouse has become an institution. It gives performers an outlet to show off their talent plus a chance to meet and play with some excellent players and singers. It gives the audience a variety of entertainment to enjoy in a most delightful setting. The Smokehouse is fortunate to have this Wednesday
Night event especially since it is being run by the very talented and capable Segal-Garcia.
For more information about Segal-Garcia’s upcoming performances, workshops, seminars, private lessons and CDs, go to her website at www.cathysegalgarcia.com. For information about the Smokehouse go to www.smokehouse1946.com