Englewood, New Jersey. October 27, 2000
A concert review by MF fan Tom Bartchak.
This concert was advertised as the Boss and BBN plus Michael Feinstein so we thought that it would be an interesting opportunity to hear MF play with another talent and in a different setting.
The show started with Blue Birdland and the great walk on followed by Get It To Go in which MF played his usual great solo. He followed with Just Friends and the Girl From Ipanema, my first time to hear that chart. It started with a great solo by Reggie, who is a very fine trombone player and went from a funk kind of groove with the melody reasonably obscured until the bridge, which MF played beautifully. Excellent new chart.!
They followed with Sunny Side of the Street with Reggie and MF singing- and the band swinging. They finished with the MF Hit medly with a few good solos by the trumpet section.
The band was outstanding and swung hard and nailed the charts, it was as good as any of the BBN bands I have seen over the years, of particular note was the drummer, whose name I did not get, who was a swinger with out getting too heavy or rock-like. Some of the recent drummers came a little too much from the rock school, and get too heavy on the jazz charts, but this guy was wonderful.
They took an intermission and expanded the band, the alto player switched to baritone and they added another alto player and the bandleader for Feinstein doubled on alto. Also added was an extra trombone player, a different rhythm section, and the reed players all doubling on clarinet or flute.
Michael came out and did a very good show (he is very entertaining) and did justice to the Great American Songbook, although a great deal of it was in the ballad format (a little tough to take after MF 's high energy set). The band sounded wonderful, although a little rougher than on the MF tunes, obviously they were reading more intently. Then Michael announced they would perform the most requested tune from the CD, Girl Talk which would have a special surprise. Well, sure enough, two thirds of the way into the tune, MF walks on and the energy level increases dramatically. He play a rather lengthy jazz solo ending on a rather LOW note, gets great applause, then starts conducting the band through the end of the tune. MF leaves the stage and didn't come back on except for bows at the end of the show ( I heard he played two tunes at the earlier show) but it was still an experience to see him in a different setting.
I'm really looking forward to the Morristown concert later this month for the full MF show.
Maynard"s playing was fine throughout, about what I've seen him play lately- he hit the notes and played most of his solos. All in all , an interesting experience.