Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Year's Eve at the Inn at 202 Dover

Here is the local newspaper advertisement for the Peacock (Inn at 202 Dover) New Year's Eve event. A fine and elegant establishment, and worth the price ($100 person). Mike McShane (drums) and I will be doing our 2 man rhythm section thing (the last 3 years were with Dave Ross on bass, so this steps it up a little) for dancing, with (a new addition this year) Beth McDonald gracing the microphone, and taking our presentation to another level. Join us!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Video postings from Church Hill Theatre 11-13-10

This playlist has been created to house, comprehensively, the video postings from the Church Hill Theatre concert: "Happiness ... A Thing Called Jazz" on November 13, from both Beth's YT channel, and mine. If you are interested in being informed of (my) new videos as they are posted, you can subscribe to my channels (if you do not yet have a YouTube account, it's easy and free). Current postings are made on this years channel, and highlight postings on my original channel.   

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2 video promos for Avalon Theatre 12-11-10

Inspired by some of the video that the Avalon Theatre has posted to promote it's own shows, I put together this short video to promote my concert this Saturday. Will continue with the concept, and make some change in the promo content for each show. Speaking of the Avalon"s promo ...

Looking forward to my crack at it! Hope you can come!

Concert review - Church Hill Theatre - 11-13-10


The Joe Holt Trio and singer Beth McDonald put on a varied yet consistently enjoyable show at the Church Hill Theater in Church Hill, Maryland. As pianist Holt explained near the beginning of the night, he performs music billed as “Happiness Is A Thing Called Jazz.” There was a definite joy felt in each of the performances even though it did cover a wide range of music.

Joe Holt began the show with a medley of Fats Waller's best known songs: “Ain't Misbehavin'” (taken at a medium tempo) and a cooking “Honeysuckle Rose” which climaxed with some hot stride. After talking in an educational and informative manner about what jazz is, he played Scott Joplin's “The Entertainer” first as ragtime, and then as jazz in a witty manner.

Singer-songwriter Beth McDonald joined the pianist for a cheerful version of “The Glory Of Love.” Bassist Gary Cattley and drummer Mike McShane, regular members of the Joe Holt Trio, assisted the pianist on a rendition of “Fly Me To The Moon” that swung like Oscar Peterson. Next up were three originals by Ms. McDonald. The first piece was originally a lullaby but in this version had the feel of reggae. An instrumental had Cattley switching to tuba, and the third number was a humorous story in which Beth sang about the “joys” of being pregnant.

The trio performed Chick Corea's “Spain” (which Holt called a bit of a curve ball), coming up with a creative version that did not sound at all like Corea. The first half of the show concluded with the singer introducing an original folk song while accompanied by Holt.

The good spirits and eclectic program continued throughout the second half. Holt first played a classical melody unaccompanied and then, when joined by Cattley and McShane, it became an uptempo romp. The trio performed a thoughtful “Christmas Time Is Here” and a hard-swinging “Linus And Lucy.”

A “Disney Medley” comprised of “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah,” “The Bare Necessities” and “I Want To Be Like You” was a delight, featuring Beth McDonald and the tuba of Cattley. The singer was also heard at her best on “Somebody Loves Me” and a warm version of “Why Try To Change Me Now.” She concluded the show with a rockish original and an emotional duet with Holt on the spiritual standard “Take My Hand, Precious Lord.” Called back for an encore, an uptempo instrumental rendition of “When You're Smiling” segued into Ms. McDonald's touching vocal on Charlie Chaplin's “Smile.”

There were no slow moments throughout the show, the audience was rightfully enthusiastic, and Joe Holt and his musical friends succeeded in demonstrating that jazz can certainly be happy music.

Scott Yanow,
Author of ten books including Swing, The Jazz Singers, Jazz On Film and Jazz On Record 1917-76

Joe joins lecture series - "The Joy of Improvisation"

On Tuesday evening, November 23rd, I was invited to present "The Joy of Improvisation" at Cokesbury Village, in Hockessin DE, as part of their lecture series. Of course, a good bit of playing (on a very nice Steinway, in their auditorium) was involved, but, for once, I didn't have to worry about talking too much! In addition to my usual demonstrations of musical improvisation (including the "A.D.D.), several questions from the audience led the evening to some interesting places. A warm and enthusiastic response from the Cokesbury (retirement) residents, plus an invitation to return for next year's series, suggests that, sometimes, too much talking actually doesn't get me into trouble   :)