December 3, 2010

by Libby Graham

Last Friday night at Bake’s Place in Issaquah was another exquisite evening of stellar jazz, especially with the great Barney McClure in the house! He brought in his own vintage B3 Hammond organ, and as Bake’s owner Craig Baker said, “He plays it how it’s supposed to be played”. Barney was at his smokin’ best belting out blazing hot runs and punctuating groovin’ chords and sustained notes with aplomb to augment the fabulous rhythm section comprised of local standouts Jose Martinez on drums and Chris Spencer playing electric guitar.

As if this group of extraordinary musicians wasn’t enough, the stage was also graced by the incomparable Greta Matassa who brought the house down with her powerhouse vocals and irresistible charisma. She sang a variety of styles from smoldering blues numbers to lush standards as “Like Someone in Love” and Shirley Horn’s “I could have told you so”. Greta also paid tribute to the wonderful vocalist/songwriter Blossom Dearie with her rendition of “Now At Last” and pulled out all the stops with a cookin’ Ray Charles tune “Danger Zone”.

Greta Matassa’s spontaneous and joyful interplay with Barney, Jose and Chris was so pleasing to the audience, and together they created sheer magic during this festive holiday season.

Review, Seattle Jazz