A premiere tenor saxophonist and clarinetist pays homage to great jazz and pop standards of the past in this 17-song set CD.
During his Cranford, New Jersey high school days, Bob Finney was the tenor saxophonist in a Dixieland jazz group. The group played locally at high school events and variety shows around town. But he wanted more. While still a teenager, he heard that every Tuesday night at Eddie Condon's club in Greenwich Village there were open jam sessions and if you were lucky enough to get in you might play with some big name talent. So, without his parents' permission, he hustled off to New York as many Tuesdays as he could manage. Finally, he got his chance to pay with trombonists Jack Teagarten and Miff Mole, trumpeter Red Allen, and drummer Cozy Cole. Once, clarinetist Peanuts Huckow leaned over to Bob and said, "Hey kid. Try this lick." Coupled with his formal lessons, these treks to Eddie Condon's helped to make Bob's improvisations that much sweeter.
Later in college, Bob worked as a sideman for touring big bands such as Ray Anthony, Ray McKinley, Ralph Marterie, and Woody Herman's "3rd Herd." All of these opportunities helped to hone his skills and finance his education. Bob laid his tenor saxophone down for thirty-five years serving in the United States Navy, pursuing an academic career, and raising six children with his first wife. With his second wife, Scarlett, they began their musical journey together when he purchased a new sax and had his old "licorice stick" refurbished. He believes his past experiences gave him a solid underpinning so that picking up the ax after such a long time was like riding a bike--you just never forget. One of his college students asked him recently what was different about playing now as opposed to "the old days," and Dr. Bob responded, "It takes a little longer for the ideas to transfer from the brain to the fingers, but having lived so long, I now have better ideas!"
The follow-up to 2004's "Scarlett Fever," this long-awaited album showcases seventeen songs from The Great American Songbook--some familiar and some not so familiar--delivered with raw emotion and sincerity by one of the prettiest voices in the business.
After a long hiatus, Scarlett and the Dr. Bob Finney Jazz Group are back with a new CD entitled "Lush Life." It showcases seventeen songs from The Great American Songbook. Some are familiar such as Cole Porter's "So In Love" and Duke Ellington's "In A Sentimental Mood." Others have been seldom recorded such as "Night Mist" and "The Riviera."
Voted Long Beach, California's Best Entertainers of the Year for two years in a row (2012 and 2013), Scarlett and the Dr. Bob Finney Jazz Group have been frequent performers at upscale jazz clubs/restaurants in and around California, Colorado, and Ohio. Additionally, they appeared for two New Year's Eve galas in a row at Harrah's in Laughlin, Nevada.
Scarlett's voice has been compared to Dianne Reeves and Ella Fitzgerald. She has a warm and soothing sound that is particularly emotional on ballads. Her voice enhances romantic forays. Her jump tunes have a Diana Krall vibe, cool and smooth. Dr. Bob, as he is affectionately called by his students at California State University, Long Beach, is a virtuoso saxophone player who has played with jazz notables such as Ray Anthony, Ray McKinley, and Ralph Marterie. His sax sounds have been likened to Stan Getz. Sweet! His group is comprised of some of the hottest young jazz musicians in the business today. This album features a guest appearance by Luther Hughes, one of the busiest and most recognized standup bass players around.
When you listen to this CD, you will be transported back to a time when classic acoustic jazz was performed in trendy nightclubs like the Copacabana or The Coconut Grove and to a time when ladies wore long, slinky gowns and furs and gentlemen wore top hats and tails. Close your eyes! Listen! You will be there!
A true jazz chanteuse whose "velvet", sultry voice brings warmth and intimacy to the jazz standards of yesteryear.
This is quality entertainment for upscale audiences who appreciate the great popular and jazz standards of the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Songs like "Misty", "St. Louis Blues", and "Caravan" are performed the way they were meant to be done "back in the good old days" by one of the most talented singers on the scene today--SCARLETT.
Scarlett's velvet and sexy contralto voice intoxicates her audience. She takes a song like "The Way He Makes Me Feel" and brings the listener along on an odyssey of her innermost and secret thoughts, her "Georgia Rose" pays a joyous and bouncy tribute to women of color, and on "Flamingo" you can practically feel the sand under your feet and the warm tropical breezes as your body sways to the song's Latin rhythms.
Scarlett (named by her mother after the heroine in "Gone With The Wind") got her start in St. Louis, Missouri where she was born and raised. As a very young girl, Scarlett would shut herself up in her bedroom and sing to the recordings of Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson, Sarah Vaughn, and others. She first sang in public at her Catholic elementary school. The nuns had asked the students to perform, so Scarlett decided to sing Johnny Mathis' "Wild Is The Wind." She remembers the shocked look on the nuns' faces to this day! Her first professional job was at The Continental, an upscale lounge, where she doubled as a bus-girl. After her bus-girl shift had ended, she would go to the ladies' room and change into her evening clothes. Soon, she was singing in other small clubs in town.
After moving to California, Scarlett decided to concentrate on her education graduating from California State University, Long Beach with a B.A. in Film and Electronic Arts. At school, she also met the man of her dreams, Dr. Robert Finney, a professor at the university. Neither knew of the other's musical ability when they were first married. She learned later that her husband had been a professional tenor saxophone player all through his undergraduate and graduate education and in fact played with well known bands such as Ray Anthony, Ray McKinley, and Ralph Marterie.
Theirs is a match made in heaven. Now, Dr. Bob (as he's known professionally) has his own group called the Dr. Bob Jazz Combo, and accompanies his wife on most of her gigs. Whether appearing as a duo or a group, Scarlett and Dr. Bob have made numerous appearances in California clubs--The Gardenia Restaurant, Lunaria Restaurant and Jazz Club, McCabe's, The Sky Room at The Breakers. Also, Scarlett has appeared in Denver, Colorado with the Dez Rubano Band, and performs on Dez's newest CD entitled " 'Azta Jazz!"
Dr. Bob's virtuoso sax playing is evident in this CD, "Scarlett Fever." His subtle intonations and melodic interpretations provides perfect symmetry to Scarlett's performance. Also, he fronts an exceptional trio of gifted musicians. THIS IS ONE CD YOU MUST ADD TO YOUR JAZZ COLLECTION!