Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tom Lambert's Christmas concert

Last Sunday, I went to the Wilda Marston Theater for Tom Lambert’s Christmas concert. Tom Lambert was at the grand piano, Liz Santoro on bass, Bill Barry on sax, I don’t know who the drummer was, blind guitarist Tony James was the guest musician, and vocalists were Bridget Sullivan and Elena Gonzales.

Tony James played a solo piece that just choked me up upon hearing some of the substitute chords he created. His wife said she sometimes does that too. I also asked him if he knew any bass players that can play a slapping electric bass for a new arrangement of a piece I’m going to record (Joe Levey’s “Cool Daddy Joe”). He knew one from years ago but couldn’t remember his name. Later, when I asked Tom, he gave me the name of Carl Wilhelmi.

Bridgett Sullivan’s vocals were crisp, and ringing as Sunday bells. Elena Gonzales’ tone, was deeper and smokey. She maintains surprising control singing at the lower end of her vocal range. When she sang one song in Spanish, she reminded me of Sade. I was chatting with her afterwards but never told her that since seeing her last August, I’d been planning to ask her to sing “Dreamsville” on my CD.

By the way, Tom is probably in Cuba right now. He told me he’d always wanted to go there and he’s been studying their rhythms for several weeks.