Max Wang Photography
Sanjaya Malakar, fronting a jazz group at Seattle's Musicquarium Lounge.
Malakar led the band through one of his signature Idol tunes, “Besame Mucho,” which featured seductive, supportive sax licks. “Night and Day” was delivered as a sexy, slow jam, with drummer Christopher Patin and bassist Trevor Pelletier locking into a deep groove. Well-worn Great American Songbook standards like “Take the A Train” and “Georgia On My Mind” were infused with fresh energy. A slinky take on “Fever” was stretched to epic length, with tasty solos by pianist Charles Hiestand and the rest of the group. Above it all, Malakar’s soulful vocals soared confidently. We interviewed him recently here on TMR and if this performance was any indication of his upcoming recording projects, there’s some very good music in store for those willing to listen.
Also joining the cause to support the non-profit cancer support community were jazz vocalist Lisa Fox (pictured left) and singer-songwriter Kristin Allen-Zito (formerly of the electro punk band The Trucks; pictured right-below). Fox, whose recent album Watch What Happens boasted support by some of Seattle’s premiere jazz players, stood out with a deeply felt reading of “My Funny Valentine.” Allen-Zito played original material from her latest release The Atlas, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar. A crowd sing-along during her song “Utah” proved to be a highlight. Her set provided some stylistic variety from the mostly jazz-oriented program.
The reason behind Jamming for June was never given short shrift, with Malakar sharing a very personal inspiration for supporting Gilda’s Club. The Seattle branch, which opened its doors in 2002, provides support services for those dealing with cancer (and their families), educational opportunities, healthy lifestyle promotion, social connections, and a “Resources and Referral” program. All member services are provided free of charge, which is why community support is so vital. For more information about Gilda’s Club Seattle, including how to donate, visit their official website.
Photos: Max Wang Photography