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By “Easy” Ed Millar

Jimmy Mulidore, Leader, soprano sax, flute; Ron Feuer, piano; Santo Savino, drums; John Keenman, bass. Celebrity Lounge, March 30, 2006

Jimmy Mulidore presented a first-rate jazz concert Thursday night at the downtown Celebrity Lounge. Starting at 7:30 pm, the room was about half-full. This was surprising because of the early start, but the audience did not grow. Jimmy plays very modern jazz with lots of John Coltrane influences. But although he played a lot of Coltrane compositions. including “Giant Steps,” “Equinox,” “Naima,” and one of the most delightful and often overlooked Coltrane compositions, “Syeeda’s Song Flute,” he neither tries for Trane’s sound nor the “sheets of sound.” Jimmy is also influenced by Charlie Parker.

The story goes that Coltrane heard his sister’s little girl marching around the yard playing a tin whistle, Mulidore brought out the bouncy feel of the little girl on his soprano sax. The melody Is catchy and stays with you.

Other tunes from ‘the ‘40s and ‘50s were Doxy, Lover Man and a faster than normal “Night in Tunisia.” One of my favorite spots of the evening was an early Oliver Nelson composition of “Patterns.” Jimmy played flute on this delicate piece and got a very legitimate tonal quality. It was wonderful.

Jimmy Mulidore is a very modern player harmonically, a little like Michael Brecker but not as much as Ornette Coleman.

The modern harmony and music of Coltrane attracted a much younger audience than seen at most of the Jazz Clubs in Las Vegas.

One unusual bit was the molding of 3 different versions of “What is this Thing Called Love,” “Hot House” and a John Coltrane tune based on “What is this Thing Called Love,” Jimmy called it a trilogy.

Special note is made of Ron Feuer, piano, a former Las Vegas player who for many years has made L.A. home. There is a lot of McCoy Tyner in his playing. He turned in chorus after chorus of outstanding work. Santo Savino is well known to Las Vegas audiences, and in keeping with the heavy Coltrane mood, had lots of Elvin Jones in his work. But I hasten to add not Elvin’s volume.
Santo impressed the younger audience tremendously. A last minute addition to the group was Jon Keenman, bassist, from LA.

Producer John Hunt stated in opening remarks that they wanted to bring back the great days of jazz as it used to be. It will be a tough job as the location of the Celebrity Lounge is in the Neonopolis—which has been having a tough time getting Las Vegans downtown because of parking problems. The City along with the hotels have thrown millions of dollars at the problem, with little progress being made. On Wednesday, Mardi 29, The R-J reported the huge complex of stores, movie theatres, and clubs was sold. A new group will bring some fresh energy to the problem and hopefully Jazz will benefit.

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