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JAYME PLOFF AND MINUS ONE—LIVE AT NIGHTCAT

By Travis Mamone

           After a few months off, Jayme Ploff returned to NightCat on August 29 singing jazz with the trio Minus One.  And it was well worth the wait!  Her expressive and dynamic voice dominated throughout the evening, and Minus One’s classic jazz sound proved to be the perfect match for Jayme.

            Minus One opened with four tunes.  Their sound is reminiscent of the classic piano-led jazz trio sound of Vince Guaraldi.  Musically all three members--Rodrigo Pinchiera on keyboard, Bob Kammann on drums, and Gary Barnes on bass—were perfectly in tune, giving each other enough room to follow the songs wherever they lead.  Barnes, however, was the one to watch for during his impressive bass solos.

            After a short break, Minus One returned to the stage with Jayme on the mic.  The set list both opened and closed with two of her original compositions.  The opener, “Imperfect Me,” would fit perfectly in Cole Porter’s songbook, while the closing “Noah’s Song” was a sweet and beautiful lullaby written for Jayme’s newborn nephew.  The rest of the songs were jazz standards.

            Like an actor who brings a character to life, so too does Jayme make each song come alive.  Her voice can go from sultry (“Is You or Is You Ain’t My Baby”) to emotional (“My One and Only Love”) to dynamic (the end of “Since I Fell For You”) to mellow (“You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”). 

           It’s been a while since Jayme last performed live, but she proved that she was still at the top of her game.  And the audience welcomed her back with plenty of whoo-hoo’s, which is what Jayme loves to hear (although it should be noted that nobody really went “whoo-hoo” until this reviewer did it a few times). 

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