Keezer and Margot

Friday, March 8, Kerrytown Concert House hosted pianist Geoffrey Keezer and his wife, vocalist Gillian Margot, on the last stop of their Midwest tour. Keezer is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and came through the Bird of Paradise while I was running it, as pianist for the late, great bassist Ray Brown around 2000. Margot is from Toronto with some Caribbean roots. They have put out a few albums together, including a brand-new one, and some of the songs Margot sang were from them, such as “Black Is the Color (of My True Love’s Hair)”.

SEMJA Review

Keezer still has that same little smile as he plays every single key on the piano, his fingers racing across the ivories and his head bobbing in time. Margot, in addition to her broad vocal range and ease in scatting, cut a striking figure in a clinging, floor-length black dress... and bare feet!

First out of the gate was “East of the Sun,” followed by the slower “Blame It on My Youth,” and then “I’m All Smiles, Darling.” After a few more, including some original tunes, Margot stepped off-stage and Keezer took the mic. He said he’d heard a lot of good things about KCH’s Steinway piano and was truly enjoying playing it, all in his gentle voice. He introduced the two Monk songs he was going to sew together — “Coming Down the Hudson” and “Pannonica” — saying he’d always liked Monk because Monk was “weird…and cool…like my personality,” and added that Monk played “all the wrong notes,” which had appealed to him as a rebellious teenager.

Then Margot returned and showed a bit of her versatility, singing “a boogie” (“Parker’s Mood” aka “Bless My Soul”), a Brazilian number called “Joy” that she scatted through, two Great Songbook standards and closing out the show with a “medley” of Duke Ellington and Kermit the Frog’s “It Isn’t Easy Being Green.” Now that is variety.

The house wasn’t full, which is unfortunate because it was a different type of concert from what you generally get. Just piano and voice. No drums, no bass…. So if you stayed home that rainy night, go listen to their records.