Ramona Collins

Ramona Collins Swings Kerrytown Concert House

Ramona CollinsOne of the area’s top jazz singers, Ramona Collins from Toledo, graced the stage of the Kerrytown Concert House in Ann Arbor on April 16. She was accompanied by Cincinnatti pianist Phil DeGreg and our own bassist Paul Keller. The two Ohioans had never met, but as they are both fluent in the language of jazz, it did not seem to matter that they come from opposite ends of the Great State to our South.

The repertoire for the night was standards, but a few of them are not commonly sung, like the Neil Hefti Basie hit “Lil’ Darlin’” or Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father.” There were many delicious moments created by the three master musicians at this concert, but I was particularly struck by “Come Rain or Come Shine,” which seemed to fit Collins’ voice perfectly. DeGreg treated us to a dynamic solo using both hands, and after Collins walked down the main isle singing to great effect, it all ended with a beautiful coda. The ballad “The Nearness of You” was simply exquisite in Collins’ soulful rendition. “Moondance” had a long and memorable introduction by Keller, and the evening ended with a swinging version of “The End of a Beautiful Friendship.”

I hope the three can get together again in the near future!