Jazz Meets Blues, (could easily
be renamed 'When The Stars Came Out'), is a concert with one goal,
to benefit the organization ROW (Redevelopment
Opportunities for Women Inc.). This was the 20th 'When Jazz meets
Blues' concert, but ROW has been helping women for 25 years. The other
benefit of the evening was for all the fans on hand to enjoy the performances
of two of St. Louis' finest divas - Kim Massie and Denise Thimes.
Dobbs of Jazz on the Bistro, and Debbie Alexander of Smooth Jazz
opened the evening by introducing the evenings entertainment. This
years honorary chair was once again Vicki Newton of Channel 4 -
Massie was then introduced, and as the band laid down a strong
backbeat, Kim made a spectacular entrance, to a very enthusiastic
audience response. As the crowd shouted out their approval, Kim
asked with a smile, "is that all you've got for me?"
faithful followers of Kim would have really enjoyed this set, as
Kim was backed by her stellar band of sidemen AND 4 outstanding
backup vocalists. Kim began her intro by thanking Debbie Alexander
and Vicki Newton by awarding them each a very special Kim Massie
lapel pin. She remarked to the crowd "I can't tell you what
they say, but make sure and try to have these ladies show them to
you". As STLBlues had a prior knowledge of the pins, the humor
of the moment was definitely there. What do the pins say? Drop on
by one of Kim's shows to find out in person!
began her set with a Stephen Stills classic 'Love the one you're
with', and then slowed the tempo down with 'One Night'. Kim, as
many blues/jazz divas are, was raised singing the gospel in church
on Sundays. We at STLBlues believe that Kim's career will bust loose
any day, and one day the Grammys will be calling her name. She's
Aretha and Etta rolled into one, but very much has her own style,
evident when she starts with a slow ballad, and transforms the same
song into a multi-octave crescendo!
a short set change, the Jazz diva Denise
Thimes was introduced by none other than her father, Lou "Fatha'
Thimes, a famous St. Louis radio DJ for many years, now retired.
Denise has helped keep St. Louis Jazz music on the map. You may
remember the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feature on Denise's stop on
the New York Jazz scene several years ago. Denise took her golden
voice to the limit, as she crossed over the Jazz divide to cover
a great Etta James track 'Damn your eyes'.
Denise were some of the finest musicians you'll find anywhere, notably
Amos Brewer on the tenor sax - can this cat ever wail - and Tony
Simmons on keyboard. Denise closed the night by getting everyone
to their feet and filling the dance floor with her uptempo cover
of "It's all right", bringing the evening to a powerful
backstage to greet Denise after her set was her 'Fatha', who remarked
"when did you start doing Etta James? With a smile Denise replied
"do you know who I'm the daughter of"?
fantastic night of night of Diva's showing just how powerful the
St. Louis music scene is! Don't miss this event next year, it's
a 4.83 on the STLBluesometer.