OK, just in case you need all the information, the full title of the event was “Music and Memories: An Evening with the Legendary Johnny Mandel featuring Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra with vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway.”
First, Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra took their place on the bandstand in the modern Massry Center for the Arts on the College of Saint Rose campus. A moment later legendary composer and arranger Johnny Mandel walked out with a smile and a wave, taking up the baton to lead the band through a retrospective of his jazz and film music.
Songs ranging from “The Americanization of Emily,” “The Sandpiper” and “The Theme from I Want to Live” were soulfully played by the Diva aggregation of women jazz musicians lead by fiery drummer Maricle. Mandel introduced his compositions slowly and sometimes with tongue-in-cheek humor. “Here is an obscure little piece a few of you might remember,” he said as the band kicked into the familiar melody of “The Theme from M*A*S*H.”
The second set of the evening featured the vocal stylings of Ann Hampton Calloway. Known for her fabulous interpretations of the great American Songbook on the stages of Tangelwood, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Hall and Broadway, Hampton Calloway added vocal life to standards like ” Ain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do,” “A Time for Love,” “Where Do You Start” and Mandel’s own “4 Frisco Club.”
Upcoming at the Massry Center for the Arts is the Dave Brubeck Quartet at 8pm on Wednesday, October 14.
Review and photo by Andrzej Pilarczyk