JAZZ AT THE CREEK

   If you are a veteran to the Jazz at the Creek concert series, you know you’re in for amazing performances. It is not uncommon to be entertained by the mastery of DJ John Phillips and anticipate an audience selfie with MC Ahmed “The Voice” Dent.
   Not to mention, the magic that happens between the audience and artist on stage is always unpredictable and Saturday, July 12 was no exception. In fact, the talent that hit the stage was exceptional.
Jeanette Harris was infectious on the saxophone, her own brand of funk and fire igniting the stage. Her renditions of R&B standards were crowd pleasers and had fans on their feet. She kept it mellow with cover songs like “That’s the Way Love Goes” and samplings of her own original music from “Saxified”, a recent CD that embodies what most important, “my family and my music,” Harris stated.  
Some may recognize her from the “Ladies in Pink” band, but she is a standout talent, composer and songwriter with a megawatt smile and fine-tuned band of musicians, she calls “The Jeanette Harris Band.”   
Jay Gore brought a ”different type of jazz,’’ according to the dynamic guitarist and composer, whose played with familiar jazz vets over the course of his career. The stage is not unfamiliar territory for Gore, he is the former lead guitarist for Mindi Abair, Hilary Duff, and Scott Grimes. At the creek, he shared a range of songs samplings inspired from great guitarists like, Paul Brown, and an original new project titled, “Purple Shoes.”
Gore served up a rapid secession of hits while switching out guitars like a fashion models changes clothes at a runway show. He mixed it up on stage with saxophone player, Curtis Brook and trumpeter, Willie Bradley and banged out notes and melody that kept the crowd busy clapping and patting their feet.
Phil Perry, the balladeer with a velvet voice, graced the stage next and brought back memories for fans who remember him from his days with The Montclair’s. Time only served to season this vocalists as he took everyone on a journey of hits from the 70’s to the present. Perry was a sought after artist and shared the stage with the likes of  George DukeNajeeBill WithersBarbra StreisandJohnny Mathis and more.
“Just Say Yes” and an ode to Earth, Wind and Fire’s, “Can’t Hide Love” are on the newest work from this self-proclaimed romantic. Perry beamed as he introduced his wife of 30 years to the crowd, spoke of his love for his four children and about his musical aspirations. He’s spent his total career singing about love and desire. “I thought I was the lasts of the romantics, but I can see by this audience I am not alone,” he shared.
This summer concert series will wrap up with an all-male show in August featuring Warren Hill, Jay White and DW3 finishing out the 2014 concerts at the creek with a mix of music you don’t want to miss.

By tommyj