Accompanied by the energetic Karen Hernandez Trio, the polished Jimmy Spencer wraps the audience in his hands with his honey, velvety voice during his performance at Jax Jazz Club promoting his new CD of romantic standards.
Spencer, possessing an expressive baritone resembling that of Nat King Cole, sweetly caresses romantic ballads, while also confidently articulating rhythmic numbers. His rich style perfectly fills the intimate atmosphere of the club. Spencer’s commanding presence captures audience interest, along with his precise phrasing and concentration.
He starts things off with such standards as “Like Someone in Love,” “The Way You Look Tonight” and “So in Love,” yearning and contemplative. “Slow Boat to China” possesses a bouncy, jazzy beat, perfectly complimenting “Let It Be Me,” playful and flirty. Spencer’s “Mona Lisa” includes nice modulating and transposing, with his “Lonely Heart” wistful and gentle. Spencer and band also bring jaunty, snazzy attitude to a medley, which had the audience dancing.
Spencer receives excellent support from the confident, dancing Hernandez and her band. Hernandez keeps each song tight but playful, allowing bassist Lou Schoch and drummer Jack LeCompte ample opportunity to riff. They give driving performances in their own numbers. Schoch provides a steady bass and LeCompte gives an energetic, fun beat in their accompaniment.
The band possesses a great blend and chemistry with Spencer, catching his every improvisation and mood. They all work well together.
Spencer and band gave a stylish, elegant sampling to the lush ballads and jazzy standards at Jax Bar & Grill located at 339 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale at 8 pm on Saturday, Oct. 1, for his new CD, Forever Love.