By: Liz Slocum ~Staff Writer~
Jazz is very much alive at Xavier University. As part of its 2015 “Master of Swing Series,” Xavier hosted the Bone Voyage Jazz Band, featuring local jazz singer Nancy James, on Jan. 18 at the Gallagher Student Center Theatre.
Since 2001, Bone Voyage has been entertaining audiences across the U.S. and Europe. Even with the passing of original trombone and trumpet player Tom Hyatt, the band continued to flourish, delighting audiences with its wide variety of songs from a time when jazz ruled the airwaves. The ensemble consists of trombones, a bass, a clarinet, a bass clarinet, a trumpet, a piano and, on several songs, the lovely vocal style of Nancy James. Together, they dusted off an old music style that seems to have been forgotten by the newer generations
and brought it back to life at the GSC Theatre.
In two acts over a span of two hours, the audience was treated to numbers both well-known and obscure, from the bold and seductive “Old Devil Moon” to the melancholy “When October Goes.”
The audience enthusiastically echoed back refrains and common responses in the familiar song “Minnie the Moocher.” Some numbers combined two similar songs, making for a more interesting song performance. “How High the Moon” transitioned smoothly into “Ornithology,” and “No Moon at All” became “Old Devil Moon” in the first act of the performance. James, a veteran of the Bob Braun show in the 1970s and a successful local singer, added an irresistible vocal element to many of the songs. The artistic chemistry between James and the band made it seem as though she was a member of the band.
David Haldeman, a veteran trombone player and longtime partner to the late Hyatt, introduced most of the songs and bantered with the audience as well as the band, which added comic relief to their repertoire.
By the end of the performance, Bone Voyage and Nancy James were rewarded with applause from a satisfied audience. The performance shaped up to be a great way to spend an afternoon filled with great jazz music