MARCH 15, 2006 – TOLUCAN TIMES & CANYON CRIER by RENEE SILVERMAN

 

JIMMY SPENCER IN RARE FORM AT THE SMOKE HOUSE

 

 

Images of a bygone era where people gathered to hear cool jazz I dimly lit supper clubs best describes the sights and sounds of Saturday’s (March 11) performance by Jimmy Spencer at the venerable Smoke House Restaurant.

 

A mainstay at the Smoke House, and several other clubs around town, Jimmy Spencer is no newcomer to the music scene.  For years he traveled with Harold Austin and toured the Playboy circuit before branching out on his own.  Spencer’s style is smooth jazz and sultry pop standards with a heavy influence on the Nat King Cole brand of singing.  On this particularly cold night, he was in rare form performing such classics as Cole’s “Mona Lisa,” Fats Domino’s “I’m Walkin’,” Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night in Georgia,” Leon Russell’s “A Song for You” and an original song, “Riverside Drive,” by keyboardist Karen Hernandez.

 

A trio of top-notch musicians played solid, in-the-pocket performances; Lou Shoch on bass, Jack LeCompte on Drums, and Hernandez on Keyboards.  Throughout the evening, members of the band got a chance to solo their talents.  The club was packed and the audience was entertained while they danced and clapped along.

 

Jimmy Spencer is a seasoned performer who clearly feels at ease on stage and most notably connects with his audience.  The soulful renditions of classic jazz and pop tunes sung by this master balladeer brought you back to the nostalgia of a simpler time.  You may check out his next engagement at www.jimmyspencer-nightspen.com.