Landmark Inn hosts repeat performance cabaret-style show

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:59

WARWICK-In all his years as a Las Vegas performer, it is doubtful that Dick Wells ever appeared in any casino before an audience of close friends and neighbors, all greeting the performers and each other before the show. But that was the audience, which included Warwick Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton and Village Mayor Michael Newhard and their wives, that welcomed Wells and the Philip Jones Jazz Quartet for an encore of a cabaret-style evening at Warwick’s Landmark Inn. “It’s cold and raining outside,” said Mayor Newhard. “But here we are - enjoying the company of good friends, good food and good music.” Last April, local radio and TV personality Dick Wells had described the warmth he and the musicians felt from their appreciative audience as a “house party.” And Thursday, Oct. 13, when the Inn again hosted the cabaret-style evening, only the selection of music had changed. The mood was the same. Philip Jones, recording artist, well-known tenor and bass trombonist, is a 17-year veteran of the Grammy-winning “Danny Davis and the Nashville Brass” orchestra. As a performer, Jones has worked with many of the most talented entertainers in show business including Bing Crosby, Elves Presley, Ray Charles, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Willie Nelson as well as dozens of famous groups and orchestras. And as a studio musician, he has recorded on hundreds of top label releases. Wells is best known locally for his Saturday radio show on WTBQ (1110 AM) and for his appearances on cable television and at community events. But his true claim to fame is as a professional singer and entertainer. Wells once sang with the world famous Harry James orchestra and even appeared on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show. He has also performed on Las Vegas stages with legendary entertainers like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. He’s been working with Jones for about five years and the award-winning trombonist appears on Wells’ popular CD, “Here’s to the Band.” Landmark Inn owner/chef Michael Dimartino had been looking forward to the encore and considering five days of relentless rain and the poor weather that night, he was impressed by the turnout. “This is not bad for any Thursday night,” he said. “I knew the rain wouldn’t stop anyone. Dick Wells is a great entertainer and the Philip Jones Jazz Quartet is terrific.” Wells sang a couple of popular requests but many of his fans were surprised by the new material in this performance including immortal oldies such as “Fly Me to the Moon,” “All Alone,” “Begin the Begin” and “What Now My Love.” Wells recalled that the later song was originally composed in French and that he was the first singer to introduce it to a Las Vegas audience in its English version. Another singer happened to be around that night. He liked the song and subsequently recorded it. His name was Frank Sinatra.