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Hawaii's jazz faithful dig groovy sounds at Kawaiaha'o Church


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POSTED: Saturday, March 07, 2009

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Jazz worshippers settled in at Kawaiaha'o Church at noon Wednesday and were rewarded with a solid offering of pop standards with a rich and heavy jazzy coating. Dishing out the sounds to the faithful were pianist Betty Loo Taylor, sax standout Gabe Baltazar, bassist Steve Jones, drummer Morgan Grant and singer Jimmy Borges. The byplay between Betty and Jimmy, who have worked together for decades, added to the performance. Kahu Curtis Kekuna welcomed the crowd and gave an opening prayer. Then Betty and the boys swung into “;Time on My Hands.”; Jimmy got into the act and knocked out “;I Get a Kick Out of You,”; the way Sinatra used to sing it. Jimmy improvised a bit and sang “;I get a kick out of Betty Loo.”; Cool. Other selections included “;I'll Be Seeing You,”; “;Yours Is My Heart Alone,”; “;Just in Time,”; “;I Only Have Eyes for You,”; “;Night and Day,”; “;Bye Bye Blackbird”; and “;Gone With the Wind”;—with a little Chinese fun-filled intro by Betty and Jimmy (Chairman Mao is turning over in his grave). Jimmy sang most of them, and the musicians took solos on all of them. In the middle of all this hot stuff, Moana Sanders led the audience in singing “;Amazing Grace.”; Jimmy said early on that “;Betty turned 80 five days ago, but all she wanted was a mah-jongg marathon.”; Betty told daughter Karen Lindsey that's all she wanted, and she got it. The marathon began at 3 p.m. last Saturday, and it ran until 5 a.m. Sunday. Betty said her birthday is Feb. 27 or 28. It's too complicated to explain here. For this Wednesday's “;A Lenten Celebration & All That Jazz”; session, Betty Loo features single-named vocalist Elle, Matt Moore on horn, guitar/bassist Steve Loo, and Morgan is back on drums; noon ...

Happy birthday to Daynin Dashefsky, who is celebrating today ... Carole Brooks has returned from the Northwest to visit friends ... Singer-guitarist-composer Brad Mossman has a gig tonight at Ward's Rafters, 7:30 ...

The Boys Bunch has scheduled their April Foolish Party, what they call a “;fun raiser”; for Make-a-Wish Hawaii, April 3, 5 p.m. to midnight at Aloha Tower Marketplace. The Boys Bunch isn't exactly made up of boys, but Mike Rossell, Brad Coates, David Hayakawa, Jay Sweet and John Michael White are serious about raising funds for Make-a-Wish. The organization grants wishes for kids fighting life-threatening medical conditions. Tickets for the event, which includes music, dancing and door prizes, are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. A ticket includes one drink. Call Make-a-Wish, 537-3118, for more info and tickets ...