Musical Blasts From the Past
What a great week of music it was in different parts of the Palm Beaches. The 65-piece Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches presented an exhilarating concert in Lake Worth, featuring David Crohan, the long-time entertainer at L’Europe, one of Palm Beach’s best restaurants. That was at the beginning the week, which ended with an evening of jazz at the Double Roads Tavern in Jupiter.
For a packed house Sunday at the north end watering hole, a host of notable jazz musicians backed vocalist Lisa Remick, a heretofore hidden talent who proved she could swing with the best of them, and Steve Ahern, a veteran trumpeter who has performed with jazz stars all over the country and abroad. The two teamed in a CD release party for Remick’s Close Enough for Love.
As part of an Americana concert of popular and light classical fare by the large winds band, Crohan played and sang favorites illuminating periods in the country’s history reaching deep into the 20th century. He put his stamp on tunes from the jauntily romantic Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree to the poignant For All We Know to the rousing Great Balls of Fire, for which the blind pianist stood hunkered over the keyboard and whirled in a circle a la Jerry Lee Lewis, best known for the rock number. I’d heard about Crohan’s consummate piano stylings, but didn’t know he was an accomplished singer, as well. For its part, the band displayed its cohesiveness and musicality in such classics as Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody, The Washington Post March and America the Beautiful, with soloists on a variety of instruments adding piquancy.
Remick is a late bloomer who nonetheless exhibits the irresistible stage presence of a veteran and a command of jazz standards that she renders with ease and dexterity in a register which mimics the legendary Anita O’Day. Remick comes across as a consummate pro, with a winsome personality to boot. She is likely to be seen with increasing frequency throughout the Palm Beaches and beyond. The world has been deprived of this beautiful woman’s talent far too long.
As for Ahern, who doubles on flute, his playing is marked by a polish and fluency that rank him among the best, and he is comfortable in a range of styles, including classical. He has a CD titled At Last, which includes numbers by such diverse songwriters as Sonny Rollins and Victor Young.