Amanda, Please! And all that Jazz
A couple of months ago, I started a series on the” pubs of Newport.” I intend to resume this series soon, but I want to expand on something I mentioned in my piece on the Atlantic Beach Club: Newport jazz and Amanda Carr. Here’s what I wrote in April:
During the non-summer months, the ABC offers quiet jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Surprisingly—given Newport’s reputation as the site of the annual Jazz Festival—the ABC provides one of the few regular jazz venues in the area.
The quality of the music is uniformly excellent. The usual program consists of a trio plus a vocalist. It’s good stuff. The vocalists are mostly local and quite good, but my personal favorite is a true New England treasure: Amanda Carr from Boston (more about her in a later post). In any event, if one wants to spend an evening listening to good jazz over a couple of drinks in a setting where it is still possible to carry on a conversation, the ABC is the place to go.
The DJ is killing live music, but there are still excellent groups out there. In the Newport area, I would single out the Mac Chrupcala trio and Nancy Paolino. Mac is a regular at the ABC, usually performing on Friday nights, even during the summer. He and the members of his trio all have “day jobs” but jazz appears to be a labor of love for them. If you like jazz you will love this group.
Nancy is Mac’s wife. She is a terrific vocalist with great range. I’m no expert, but I love her stuff. Whenever she performs, I always ask her to do her version of the old Temptations song, “Just my Imagination.” There’s nothing like it.
Then there’s Amanda Carr, whom I described as a “true New England treasure.” What more can I say? She is supremely talented (and supremely gorgeous). Although she has her own unique—and exceptional—sound, she reminds me sometimes of a young Ella Fitzgerald and sometimes of Peggy Lee. Her CD, The Tender Trap is magnificent. She has a new one just coming out. Buy it. You’ll become a believer. I am.
Her website is here
By all means, see this fabulous entertainer perform. You won’t be sorry. As for me, I’m thinking about becoming an Amanda groupie. I do adore her so.