Saturday, July 19, 2008

StLJN Saturday at the Movies:
Spotlight on Tony DeSare

This week, we continue our series of previews of this fall's coming attractions and shine the the Saturday video spotlight on Tony DeSare, a singer and pianist who will perform at Jazz at the Bistro from Wednesday, September 10 through Saturday, September 13. This actually will be DeSare's fourth gig for Jazz St. Louis in the last three years, as he made his debut at the Bistro two seasons ago; returned last September to kick off the 2007-08 season; and provided the entertainment for JSL's benefit gala this past spring.

The first clip is from Desare's appearance a couple of years ago on the CBS Saturday Early Show. The song is "We've Got A World That Swings," and DeSare is accompanied by Mike Lee on bass, Brian Czach on drums, and the great jazz veteran Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar.

In the second video, DeSare demonstrates his pianistic prowess in a performance of "Fly Me To The Moon" at the Jazz Arts Project's 2007 Summer Jazz Cafe in Red Bank, NJ. Given that DeSare is something of a Frank Sinatra aficionado, and even played the title role in the Off-Broadway musical Our Sinatra, one might expect him to offer a version not too different from Ol' Blue Eyes' rendition of the tune.

One would be wrong, as instead he goes in the opposite direction, performing the song as a piano-driven instrumental in a sort of mutant stride/Erroll Garner style. There's certainly room to debate whether or not this is a good and/or tasteful approach for this particular song...but there's no doubt it's different, and an impressive performance from a technical standpoint.

(Edited 7/22/08 to fix a typo.)

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