The Players: Jennifer Vazquez, guitar, lead vocals; Jon Poli, drums; David Lane, bass; Joseph John, keyboards, vocals; Larry Marciano, electric guitar; Mara, vocals.
Material: Jennifer Vazquez has honed her craft on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, and was at The Mint this night to celebrate the release of her new CD Bend. Her songs relate to her travels and experiences since she left New York. Vazquez shines on “You & Me,” a gift she wrote when her best friend had a baby, as well as her most unique love song, “He’s Like Strawberry Milk.”
Musicianship: Vazquez gathered a dynamic group around her for this special performance. Marciano and Lane are impressive, although, at times, Marciano is a little overpowering. Poli’s drums are steady and lay down a perfect foundation. As always, Mara’s background vocals add a great dimension to those of Vazquez. Equally impressive, both acoustically and electronically, is Vazquez’s voice. Her strong vocals provide the perfect touch to complement her excellent songwriting and arranging skills.
Performance: Despite a relatively uncooperative crowd that acted as if they were in an informal coffee house, rather than a great venue known for its musical legacy, Vazquez still maintained an excellent stage presence. This songbird’s sense of humor helped to set her apart and was reflected in the songs, which often broached difficult situations with a light-hearted twist. Vazquez’s final number, “Don’t Make Me Say Good Bye,” was very appropriate and a perfect ending to a dynamic showcase of talent.
Summary: Jennifer Vazquez is a pop diva in the making who presents rock-tinged pop that is radio- ready now. She offers simple, yet profound, songs that reflects her coming of age after paying her dues on the streets of New York and Los Angeles.