Nnenna Freelon Live At The Saville Theater, San Diego
It all had to end sooner or later, and it did, on a high note, with a truly off-kilter arrangement of the Ellington/Strayhorn vehicle, "It Don't Mean A Thing." They started out sounding like 1930s German cabaret, all choppy and square. Freelon seemed to enjoy putting the audience on with her stilted, mechanical delivery. Of course it was all a ruse just a setup for the inevitable "swing-fest" that followed. Magnusson laid down a "Detroit" solo (all walking bass), and Moore was given wide latitude to create an explosive, roiling drum soliloquy that was the perfect segue into Garson's wild, Art Tatum meets Cecil Taylor piano episode. After Freelon returned to "take the tune out," a long, loud ovation ensued.