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You'd never have guessed that it was "Friday-the-Thirteenth." The Town of Cary had scheduled its "Swing Night" with the Jim McCann Jazz Project right out there under the stars on the town's main square. Not only was there no rain, the late summer evening reminded one of the fall season at its finest and most salubrious. And the five performers treated the robust turnout to a satisfying fusion of some twenty jazz, swing, Latin, and hybrid selections.
The players comprised Jim McCann himself as vocalist and general factotum, bassist Steve Boletchek, keyboardist Court Stewart, drummer (and sometime vocalist) Tom Bernett and guitarist Baron Tymas. Their selections ranged on the elegance spectrum from Cole Porter's "I've Got You Under My Skin" all the way to "You Ain't Nothin' But a Houn' Dog." (Let the reader decide which end of that spectrum is the more exalted.) Each and every number drew a goodly crowd of merry dancers ranging from toddler to doddler, all of widely varying skill levels.
The musicians decided that "Love Was Made for Me and You." Stewart's expert keys were up front on "Come Fly With Me," "The Girl from Ipanema" and "It Had to be You." Bernett proved capable on drums and vocals with "Too Close for Comfort." Matching him on "The A-Train" was the particularly mean bass of Boletchek. Adept guitarist Tymas was turned loose with "Kansas City Here I Come." Featured in nearly all the pieces were the vocals of McCann. Whenever he "played it straight," he evinced the pleasing qualities of many of his great predecessors whom he obviously revered. They preferred you "Just The Way You Are." They celebrated "The Summer Wind" and they appreciated "The Way You Look Tonight."
The fine work of dance instructor Sofia Hernandez must not go unsung. Before the main festivities, she gamely explained and demonstrated the intricacies of swing dancing to numerous volunteers, all the while employing such standards as "PEnnsylvania 6-5000" and "I'm All Shook Up." Although she clearly did a competent job, her resulting students were not likely to pose a competitive threat to any of the local dance troupes.
So congratulations are in order to officials of the Town of Cary, the numerous local burghers who showed up for the occasion, and to the Jim McCann combo. Warning: Do not assume that such outstanding Friday-the-Thirteenth luck can be depended upon for every future enterprise.