TO KURT WEILL AT JOHN ANSON FORD AMPHITHEATER
Kerry Ford and her husband , guitarist Robben Ford came to The Ford Theater
and charmed a nearly full house. With their friend and collaborator, pianist/composer/arranger
Roger Kellaway they presented a lively, interesting and rather unusual
program of lesser known Kurt Weill songs. The orchestra was quite brilliant
as they worked through the material, with brief solos sparking various
tunes...They were simply splendid. Kellaway played piano as well, but
he mostly focused on conducting, which he did with great brio...
Anne Kerry Ford brought verve and sensitivity to her readings of the material.
She projected warmth and confidence as she sang a saucy "I'm a Stranger
Here Myself". Her soprano voice is clean and clear and she held her
own in front of a very powerful band. They slowed down enough for her
to project beautifully on "What Good Would The Moon Be?", which
also featured fine solos from Carl Saunders and Don Markese (saxes). Moving
to a more uptempo "It Never Was You", Robben Ford added wonderful
burnished notes. "Tschaikowsky" began with Frank Marroco's mood-setting
accordion as the orchestra played the lovely melodies of Tschaikowsky.
The lyrics were brutally difficult as Ford repeated a litany of Russian
names with aplomb. This tune would heave been a mess without clear, strong
enunciation. "Lonely House" had poignant lyrics. I was thinking
(again) that someone should write this lady a Broadway show.
She'd be sensational in the right role; she has the voice, looks and presence
to make a strong role hers alone... A fine mist was falling over the amphitheater
and it was getting mighty nippy out there as the orchestra warmed up the
atmosphere with a reprise of "my Ship" to open Act Two... John
Boswell returned to accompany Anne Ford who arrived on stage carrying
a large beer stein for "Song of the Rhineland", done with lots
of humor... "Solomon's Song" was given a dramatic interpretation
by Ford and her husband's guitar work was lovely.
"Youkali" segued into "Pirate Jenny", the most dramatic
song of the show. By now the mist could be seen clearly in the lights,
adding an eeriness to the story that Ford was effectively rendering,"
The ship, the black freigthter, disappears out to sea..." Ford as
working so fiercely that the tune mesmerized the audience. Ramon Flores'
trumpet signaled a segue into "Surabaya Johnny", a lament that
basically allowed Ford to once again display a gift for the dramatic essay.
She connected well with the audience and did a beautiful job, despite
the cold night air...The band ended with a rousing but brief "Mack
the Knife" with Saunders' blazing trumpet solo and then finished
with "Listen to My Song", a lovely end to a very stimulating
-Myrna Daniels, L.A. Jazz Scene, June 2001