Jazz Oasis

Rumba, Chicago, IL

Nanette Frank & Carlos Cannon

Carlos Cannon

Story & photos by James Walker, Jr., Copyright 2011

John Moultrie's Pre-New Year's Show at Rumba on December 29th was another successful endeavor by this musical entrepreneurial. This was a celebration of not only smooth jazz, but also R&B. Saxophonist Carlos Cannon was the featured performer, but the night was full of outstanding vocalists and was hosted by the charming Angela Martin, a former American Idol contestant. Angela opened the program with a few selections, including "Slow Dance," a tribute to the late R&B icon Tina Marie. Angela, "the hostest with the mostest," later favored this near capacity crowd with a medley of R&B hits from the 80s.

Verzatile, an excellent R&B band opened the first set and backed the exceptional cadre of vocalists who graced the stage. In addition to Martin, other vocalists included Candice Marie, Opal Staples-Nesbitt and Syran. Staples-Nesbitt's rendition of Ben E King's "Stand By Me," was certainly the highlight of the first set.

Cannon opened the second set with Grover Washington's classic "Mr. Magic." This seasoned veteran smooth jazz artist really knows how to captivate an audience with his sweet sounding horn. This was followed by an original, "Whales Making Love" that also featured keyboardist James Taylor.

A cameo appearance by vocalist Nanette Frank highlighted this set. Nanette has a five octave range and can belt out a number with the best. Her version of "My Funny Valentine" was spectacular, as was "On Broadway". This "diva's" approach to soloing is patient and thoughtful as she takes her time setting each number up and builds it up to a crescendo. Nanette's a born entertainer. !!!!

Cannon's finest moment occurred on Earth Wind and Fire's "You Can't Hide Love." The versatile Cannon used his soprano sax on this number to deliver his message to this appreciative audience.

Congratulations to John Moultrie on his latest "Jazz Oasis" venture in recent months. It appears that this format at the Rumba, where patrons can enjoy dinner in addition to the fine entertainment, is the ideal setting for what he's attempting to accomplish.


Opal Staples-Nesbitt

James Taylor

Candace Marie

Angela Martin


Chris Lundholm

Opal & Angela

Enrico Harmon

Sam Tuller

Opal Staples-Nesbitt & John Moultrie

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