With an afternoon dedicated to famed lyricist, Johnny Mercer, Kristen Korb and company led us on a delightful tour of his unforgettable music. Most of the tunes were familiar, but others were her original tunes using Mercer’s unpublished poems…the result being a magical afternoon of pure enjoyment. Starting out with Too Marvelous for Words, Kristin’s clear voice and super bass playing melded with her delightful personality. Jeeper’s Creepers, introduced many years ago by Louis Armstrong in a movie, contained a fabulous piano solo by Andy Langham who continued to show us all afternoon what a fine pianist he is and he’s not even a regular member of her band! In Moon River, the lovely collaboration of Mercer and Henry Mancini, Langham again was a star. My personal favorite of the day was Midnight Sun, written by Mercer, Sonny Burke, and Lionel Hampton with a fabulous arraignment by Kristin. On another Mercer favorite, I’m Old Fashioned, Kristin really swung with her bass and voice and great timing and it’s not that easy to do! She also scatted, changed tempo, and key, and did it all with ease…a delight to hear. Kristin’s brother, Ryan, also had a great drum solo…talent must run in the family!
During the break, Jazz Society President, Peter Clark, introduced a celebrity in the room…Clark Burroughs, one of the original members of the famed vocal group, The Hi Lows and a friend of Kristin’s.
In a departure from Mercer, Kristin put lyrics to Groove Merchant, a big band tune by Thad Jones and ended the concert with the Beetles’ Can’t Buy Me Love. It was a very special afternoon, for sure!