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(275) Alan London
11 April 2017 23:08:17 +0000

To those who have yet to visit the city of Santa Barbara, my advice is to place it at the head of your 'To Do' list.
Santa Barbara, which is Spanish for 'Saint' Barbara. is located on a strip of the Californian coastline between the Santa Ynez Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Renowned for its Mediterranean climate, the area is oft referred to as the American Riviera. In 1602, Spanish explorer Vizcaino gave the city its current name. In 1769, French missionary Juan Crispi tried to rename it, Laguna de la Conception, however, Santa Barbara it remains.
Santa Barbara, featuring a style of architecture that combines both Spanish Colonial Revival and Mission Revival, boasts a host of diverse visitor attractions. These include numerous performing arts venues, the most notable being designated 'California Historic Landmark', the Lobero Theatre. Originally built as an opera theatre in 1873 by Italian immigrant Jose Lobero, in the early nineteen-twenties, it was converted into a fully-fledged theatre.
Proud of their city's dedication to the arts, the folks of Santa Barbara, particularly those I chatted with prior to Jack's March 24th concert, were thrilled that, following a lengthy absence, he had returned to their city, and to this venue in particular. Those very same folks, when our paths crossed later, were to a one buoyed at having been able to be a part of an outstanding display of unique artistic skills.

To a packed house, Jack opened his program with 'Sing For Your Supper', a song from the Rodgers and Hart musical 'The Boys From Syracuse' - which in turn was derived from Shakespeare's 'Comedy of Errors'.
Martha Raye performed the song in the film version - the sole occasion Jack's father, Allen, and his mother, Irene (Harvey), appeared together on screen. This number led into Jack's very own 'I Am a Singer' and on to the 'Sound of Music' medley, with a tremendous ovation to follow.
Jack performed several tracks from the much-acclaimed 'Seriously Frank' album; 'All or Nothing at All' with its powerful climax, and the 'first-love' pleading 'Teach Me Tonight'. But far and way above was Sammy Cahn's moving 'Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry'. One of Jack's all-time favourite love songs, he delivers it with such passion and emotion, his audience hang on to their breath - (no pocket coin-rustling permitted!), lest a change of note or phrase be missed!

'Without a Song'. It's been around since the late nineteen-twenties, and has been recorded by many artists. But this is a song that Jack has clearly taken a hold of, grasping it firmly between both hands; he now 'OWNS' it! Once again he amazed all with his vocal power, bringing the entire audience to their feet.

This Friday eve, amongst us was composer and Jack-close friend Alan Bergman. He took time to explain how between he, wife Marilyn, and Michel Legrand, the classical 'What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life' love-ballad evolved, and how Jack's recording of it followed. Yup, this evening's arrangement differed some from the original, but was naturally.... wildly received.

In a lighter mode, with its composer Charlie Fox present, Jack belted out 'The Love Boat', and had the entire audience tapping and clapping to the beat.
'God Only Knows'.......a Brian Wilson (Beach Boys)composition that many have lauded as the greatest song ever, and was recorded, under his direction, on Jack's album, 'The Full Life'. It is indeed a superb song, and one that, over the years, Jack has consistently given us a 'never-to-be-surpassed' deliveries. On Friday however, Jack and Christian (Jacob) provided an arrangement subtly, noticeably different, but equally excellent!

In a nationwide tour, Jack played the part of Don Quixote in the musical version of 'Man From La Mancha'.
When he performs 'The Impossible Dream', we see him take a step back into that role. This song is also HIS!
He gives it the full treatment, and again, the final 'Impossible Note' had all on their feet!

Rocking things up some, Jack, Christian, Chris and Kendall, joined by Jack's close friend, 'Wild Paul Lowden' belted out the Joe Williams 'Well Alright, Okay, You Win...' With all of us clapping and stomping...... what a wild session!!!

Jack then toned things down and closed the show with Frankie Laine's reassuring 'We'll Be Together Again'.
Santa Barbara sure hopes so, and so does the Lobero Theatre!

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