Bill Sample Trio - Christmas Elegance & MerrimentSunday, December 23, 2018
Roderick MacDonald the head honcho organizar of the jazz sessions at the Patricia Hotel on East Hastings (Jazz @ The Pat) introduced the Bill Sample Trio in this way yesterday, Saturday December 22.
“Christmas could be a tough time of year for some people, specifically Hugh Fraser, Joani Taylor and the Nelsen family who own the Patricia as their patriarch recently died. But we have the perfect thing to cheers everyone up: The wonderful voices of Marcus Mosley and Darlene Ketchum, the superlative musicianship of Rene Worst and Buff Allen…”
Of Bill Sample he then said:
"Imagine if Santa Claus lost half his body weight, ditched the red suit, and modernized his facial hair… You’d have Bill Santa! Please put your hands together for the Bill Sample Trio!"
The program had the theme of Christmas and before I arrived early (to get a good seat) I was wondering if I could possibly listen to Christmas music having recently shopped at Safeway and Indigo.
But my fears were not to be as I was charmed from one of the first song Winter Wonderland sung by Darlene Ketchum.
Okay I like and love Gerry Mulligan’s pianoless quartets especially the ones with trumpet player Art Farmer. The music is smooth and lyrical. I would be prepared to enjoy What is there to Say? going up the Bentall II elevator.
And I truly enjoyed the previous two Saturdays at the Pat that featured Brad Turner on trumpet. But I must interject and write that I like at Christmas something mellower. My two fave Christmas albums are:
The Charlie Byrd Christmas Album (solo guitar)
Joe Pass – Six String Santa with John Pisano on rhythm guitar, Jim Hughart on acoustic bass and Colin Bailey, drums.
Here and there in an assorted jazz record and CD collection I have some other Christmas tunes but nothing that could prepare me to an evening of an elegant piano trio as Bill Sample’s.
The Christmas songs, by now burned chestnuts, seemed fresh and merry and I felt a Christmas spirit coming.
I compared notes with Texas Panhandle-born Marcus Mosley as I lived in Texas for five years. Neither of us really ever visited Georgia but then the song he sang made it feel like he was from there!
It was a guilt-free Saturday afternoon in which bassist René Worst confessed to me that health reasons prevent him from celebrating this Christmas with egg nog. My guess is that straight bourbon or rum are far more healthy.