Playing to a full house, vocalist Kimberly Ford and Kim Richmond and his band of “young lions” from LA captivated an audience of local jazz fans last Sunday combining the music of jazz giants, Joni Mitchell and Herbie Hancock. The energetic group pulled out all the stops to make their performance truly memorable. The music was complex, to be sure, but with Kim Richmond’s amazing arrangements the tunes seemed to flow from one composer to the other seamlessly.

Devoted to the music of Joni Mitchell, Kimberly belted out the unusual and difficult melodies perfectly and also added her lovely voice to the band’s instrumental passages. The combination of Hancock’s Cantaloupe Island pared with Mitchell’s Dreamland was a great opener followed by I Had a King (Mitchell) and Dolphin Dance (Hancock). On Hancock’s Maiden Voyage the band was joined by 16 year old bassist Harry Sneddon, the Santa Barbara High School student sponsored by the SBJS to attend the Santa Barbara Jazz Workshop this month.

A blusey Goodby Pork Pie Hat written by Mitchell and Charles Mingus featured bassist, Cooper Appeit and a soulful vocal by Kimberly. Band leader, Kim Richmond showed his immense talent playing solos on alto and soprano sax and flute on all the selections. Guitarist, Will Brahm had some wonderfully lyrical solos all afternoon as did the far out pianist, Adam Hersh. Drummer, Kevin Vanenelzen was featured on the timeless, Watermelon Man. These young, dynamic players recruited by Richmond are the jazz stars of tomorrow and we are so fortunate that he could introduce them to us.

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