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On Sunday night, Delicious and I went to the Kennedy Center to see Ella! with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Janis Siegal, and Al Jarreau, backed by the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band. Once we got through "Dear Ella", an insipid sung word sort of soppy tribute to the Lady that just makes me want to puke -- coupled with the very Saturday Night Live deja vu of Siegal and Bridgewater trading off verses and scripted repartee -- the evening picked up. I found Siegal's solo vocal style to be more on the straight show tunes side, only dipping into a gut-felt jazz tonality towards the second half of the show. Bridgewater was engaging and her voice really kicked it around the block. Best of the night was Al Jarreau, with his kooky, quirky, and obviously delighted personality shining through even when he was just standing, reacting to the orchestra. He did a burning rendition of "Midnight Sun" that had the audience holding its breath, wondering where the next note would come from.

The three vocalists took some old standards and did them justice, most notably Bridgewater's fresh and appealing version of "Mack the Knife" -- a tune that Ella branded into our collective memory with her improv over forgotten words and the slow vamp she built to a crescendo.

The band? Oh yeah. How can you go wrong with horns? Jarreau looked at the slide trombonist, and smiled wide. "I see we have women in key places, nowadays" and you could see her blush from the second balcony. Unfortunately, the tech crew at the Concert Hall had no idea how to mike jazz, with the fretless bass turned up so as to overpower both singers and orchestra, the soloists who simply stood up to throw down their chops, rather than walk to the special mikes, were inaudible, and no one in that house knew how to mike a jazz singer, most especially Jarreau, who uses the mike as an extension of his own vocal instrument, bringing it closer or moving it away as his own dynamics demand.

The show was recorded for Dee Dee Bridgewater's show on NPR, "JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater" and should air sooner rather than later. I'm looking forward to hearing the show as it was recorded straight from the sound board.
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 How o how can I not love a CD all about cricket??? Ridiculous and sublime with too many layers. Like eating chocolate truffles in your campfire smores.
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Amira Saqati is the Arabic answer to Peter Murphy in his Bauhaus days.

I'm just sayin. If you can find a copy of the song "Sabra Dima" you'll hear what I mean.

first mix

Jun. 9th, 2007 05:03 pm
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Zamba - Bryan Ferry
The Chauffeur - Duran Duran
Timewatching - Divine Comedy
My Dark Star - Suede (or Asphalt World, not decided yet)
Feeling Called Love - Pulp
I want You - Elvis Costello
The 39 Steps - Bryan Ferry
Time is Running Out - Muse
Cactus - David Bowie
Oh Lately It's So Quiet - OK Go

I wish I had a copy of WHen She Walks In the Room from the Bride Stripped Bare album.

When she walks in the room
Then you know
Why your date says it's late
Time to go
And you know you can't leave
You must stay
'Til her laughter has drifted away
So you talk to the walls
Always know
Cause they've seen it all
And heard it all before
And your fair weather friends
Fail to speak
They're so afraid still waters run deep
And they don't understand
Or perceive
That you can't see the woods for the trees
Christmas trees you were sure
Weren't the sort
To build up your hopes
Then sell you short
Yeah to build you up
And sell you short....
All your life you were taught to believe
Then a moment of truth - you're deceived
all the wine in your life's all dried up
- is now the time to give up?
Like the soft paper cup that you squeeze
So you take this and that and then some more
And you make your way through the door
You make up your way through the door....


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