We attended an evening of great Jazz at the Italian American Club last week to see and hear what all the local excitement is about: a new singer named Jonathan Karrant. And are we glad we attended? You bet! This is a classy guy, who is well schooled in the use of his vocal chords, styling, and selection of material. Nothing seems to bother him, not even when the sound is not to perfection, nor the lighting.
Karrant was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas in a home filled with music and love. His mother, Nancy, was a dance instructor and dancer in the local Ballet company, while his father, John, a businessman and broker, ran the family farm outside of Fort Smith. “There was always music in the house, and I just naturally was moved towards a musical career,” he told me after the show.
His first gig, at age seven, was in a local church and the inspiration he received that day moved him even further to follow a career in the world of entertainment. I’m personally glad he kept at it because this is a man who really, truly, loves this very special brand of American music: Jazz. Fortunately for us he has decided to move to Las Vegas and share his talent with us. I call his style New York Jazz as compared to the more familiar West Coast Jazz. After all most of his formative years in the jazz world took place in New York and along the east coast. I personally really enjoyed his styling.
Jonathan surrounds himself with great musicians and do they work their butt off. The quartet is comprised of Mikan Zlatkovich on piano, Ken Seiffert on bass, Angelo Stokes on drums, and Bill King on the trumpet. Together they swing with sweet sounds and when each man takes a solo (there are several them, which is standard fare in jazz) do they shine!
The theme of this show was “Autumn in New York,” which gave way to a very wide musical library. The first few songs were “Autumn leaves,” “I’ll take Manhattan,” “20 something,” and “On Broadway.” We knew, by this time, that this was going to be another one of those special nights where we would go home having just seen a fabulous new (to us) entertainer with a bright future. He can flat out sing and knows what Jazz is all about. He is also very loose on stage and easily connects with his audience.
A few more of some great jazz favorites were richly performed: “Down in the Depths,” and ‘Autumn in New York,” before he invited his special guest, and another young man who is a jazz aficionado, Chadwick Johnson to the stage. Now you readers all know what this writer thinks of the rodeo champion/singer (who incidentally just won a new Dodge Ram Truck at a local rodeo). They paired up on “New York state of mind,” which was perfect and another standing ovation led Chadwick into a solo of “Imagine.”
All together Jonathan Karrant performed over 17 musical selections which followed the theme for the evening—New York, including: “The Great City,” Drinkin’ Again,” and a very new number, “Spiderman” from the Broadway show. Chadwick returned to perform ‘Valerie,” and as the clock continued to tick it was getting close to that time to close. Jonathon finished off the evening with “New York New York,” and one of my personal favorites, “The Curtain Falls.”
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