By Resident Reed Browning —
On the evening of July 7, Kendal at Granville hosted a memorable jazz concert. Residents packed the Amelia Room for this spectacular event and were delighted by performances of almost a dozen beloved numbers from the Great American Songbook.
The vocalist was Rachel Azbell; the pianist was Danny Bauer. Both are currently associated with Denison University and the Columbus Jazz Arts Group.
Channeling Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, the lovely Ms. Azbell coaxed out the rich melancholy of “Good Morning, Heartache” and spun out the lush dreaminess of “Summertime.” She celebrated the exuberant optimism of “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and teased with the sheer physicality of “The Nearness of You.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Bauer’s impressive technical gifts were on display as his regular opportunities for keyboard improvisations arose. They were imaginative in structure, harmonically rich and rhythmically enchanting. Quite predictably, each solo moment was followed by enthusiastic applause.
The concert was arranged by Lexie Dungan, one of Kendal’s artists-in-residence, during the summer of 2019. Before it was over, the audience learned just how fortunate we had been, since both performers will soon be moving on to other opportunities, one in Texas and the other in Chicago. The buzz in the hallways as residents scattered to their homes was that it had been an evening packed with the satisfactions of hearing songs happily recalled, performed by musicians generous with their talents.
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