TRIBUTE TO KURT WEILL AT JOHN ANSON FORD AMPHITHEATER

Singer Anne 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 concert"...

-Myrna Daniels, L.A. Jazz Scene, June 2001