Oh, to be the child of a Jazz & Blues bandleader; to able to arrange the music of your choice for your 17th birthday party in a public park on a warm and dry summer night in the South End; and to do an excellent job of it with a refreshing selection of titles: what else is there to wish for?
Aidan Loomis, the non-musician son of musical director Pat Loomis (his other son, Antonio, has been part of the band as a guitarist since he was little), selected an unexpectedly delicious play list for the August 15 concert in Library Park, ranging from I Love Lucy to Pure Imagination with in-between numbers of Sweet Georgia Brown, Just a Gigolo and I Ain't Got Nobody, Do I Do, Maybe I'm Amazed, Ain't Too Proud to Beg, Soul Man and, yes, Happy Birthday.
Vocalist Sara Seminski performed a gorgeous rendition of Pure Imagination by songwriter Josh Groban. Pat Loomis himself sang an emotional version of the Beatles' Maybe I'm Amazed, with his wife and son moved visibly in the audience, while the powerfully voiced and athletically engaging singer Nephtaliem McCrary practically set the crowd ablaze with his interpretation of the Temptations' Ain't Too Proud to Beg.
Fine performances by instrumentalists Antonio Loomis (guitar); Scott Aruda (trumpet); Angel Subero (trombone); Steven Higgs (keyboards); Christoff Glaude (bass) and Benny Benson (drums) accompanied the singers. Saxophonist Pat Loomis and trumpeter Scott Aruda switched back and forth seamlessly from instrument to their vocal strings during several numbers.