In a program aptly titled "Sentimental Journey," the Choral Arts Society of Utah was joined by the Choral Arts Society Ensemble, the Phoenix Jazz and Swing Band and the Craig Larsen Trio to perform some of the great standards from the 1930s and '40s. The evening was pure nostalgia.
Of all the groups that played Saturday, the Phoenix Jazz Band was the best. The band, led by Doug Boll, is made up of old jazz musicians who've come out of retirement to perform again, and these old-timers still know how to swing.The average age of the Phoenix Jazz Band is around 72, so all of these musicians played many of these tunes when they were still new. These guys are just great. You could listen to them for an entire evening and still not get enough of them. They take a tune and just cut loose.
The first piece they did was a new arrangement (by the band's Dave Williams) of "Back Home in Indiana." The band managed to get some swing into their play and did a great job with this number.
They also played some swinging renditions of "American Patrol," "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" and "Sweet Georgia Brown."
Vocalist Myrlene Korologos joined the band in a couple of numbers. She sang "The Man I Love" (arranged by the band's Gene Burton) and "The Lady Is a Tramp." Hers is a throaty voice that blended well with the band.
Singer Corliss Dale joined the Craig Larsen Trio for a couple of numbers. She's a fine singer who knows how to sell a song. She did "Taking a Chance on Love" and then a sultry "Making Whoopee."
The Choral Arts Society Ensemble, made up of 15 singers, did a variety of a cappella numbers. They opened with a beautiful arrangement of "When I Fall in Love." Their "Java Jive" was a laid back rendition of this piece, unlike the Manhattan Transfer's more lively swing version, but it was still an effective interpretation.
The Choral Arts Society Choir also sang several lovely pieces. Their a cappella interpretation of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square" was the best of the a cappella pieces they sang and was one of the loveliest renditions of this poignant number.