Last year, October of 2009, we had the fantastic opportunity to interview Yankees great, and accomplished jazz musician, Bernie Williams in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Almost exactly a year later Bernie and his band performed at the Ridgefield playhouse in Connecticut again. The crowd loved the show last year and requested him back again.
So after the band warmed up with a..game of catch outside the theater, it was time to hit the stage. I think this group could make a nice team of their own..on the baseball field! Multitalented.
Bernie Williams and his band took the stage in front of an eager Ridgefield Playhouse audience, opening with the title track to his cd, “ Moving Forward.”
We noticed this song had a nice cohesion amongst all the musicians right off the bat. Definitely noticed the nice drum rhythms of Joel Rosenblatt, well known talented drummer. (He wasn’t at the last Ridgefield show as someone was sitting in for him that evening).
The brass team of Richie Cannata and Don Harris are quick attention grabbers. Between their stellar playing and the entertainment value (yes, they even have their own moves on the stage) you will really enjoy them. At this show they were firing on all cylinders.
What a Team
Bernie Williams, the front man, and Julio who is well known for his time in “Spyro Gyra” which Joel also performed in, have a great chemistry with each other on stage. At times they will play together and it’s almost as if they tell a story with their music.
Bernie Talks..and Sings?
Bernie addressed the audience at one point. In his shy way you can just tell how he is taking everything in and is so humble about it all. He let the audience know that he was feeling a bit nervous for that particular show because a very special person was in the audience. It was his beautiful wife, Waleska who, he told everyone, bought him the shirt he was wearing. Nice choice!
So yes, the singing part, we didn’t forget. When the song, “Just Another Day” started up you knew Eren Cannata would grab the microphone, and he did. He was singing it with some fantastic vocals when you suddenly noticed another voice. Eren looked to his left and smiled, Bernie was singing too in the chorus of the song. He sounded great! Who knew, the man can sing too. Richie was smiling too and the crowd erupted into applause as everyone came together on the song.
Getting back to Bassics – (no we didn’t spell it wrong)
Gene, the bassist of the Bernie Williams band had his moment in the spotlight as he played his solo. The sound was crisp and clear, very nice fingerwork!
Bernie and his band are coming into their own as they continue to sharpen their skills. The show has a cohesion, entertainment value, talent, and most importantly, fantastic music, that you can’t find anywhere else. This is Bernie Williams unlike you’ve ever seen him. If you loved him on the field, you’ll love him on the stage even more. You get to see Bernie’s personality shine through and wow does it shine.
Watch for Bernie’s new official website coming soon. Visit www.bernie51.com to be placed on the announcement list!