Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

142

Lea Delaria: Double Standards

Marcia Hillman By

Sign in to view read count
Double Standards is Lea DeLaria's jazz approach to a selection of rock classics. She has chosen eleven diverse songs vocally to slip and slide around. The first track, Patti Smith's "Dancing Barefoot, features some lively moments during which she trades scatting solos with tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake. Blondie's "Call Me is translated with a blues feel and allows DeLaria to show off another facet of her vocal ability. Also notable is her plaintive rendition of Neil Young's "Philadelphia and a romping R&B treatment of Jane's Addiction's "Been Caught Stealing, complete with a rousing guitar solo by Adam Rogers.

On this Telarc debut album, DeLaria is able to cover the wide range of her vocal instrument. At times she possesses a little girl quality (strongly reminiscent of Anita O'Day), then at others she can demonstrate the power in her voice. DeLaria's lower range is particularly interesting to hear.

Aiding and abetting her on this recording are Gil Goldstein (piano), Christian McBride (bass), Bill Stewart (drums), Bashiri Johnson (percussion), and Stefon Harris (marimba), plus Blake and Rogers. Gil Goldstein did the song arrangements on all but two of the tracks. The musicians are given lots of room to improvise and there is a genuine sense of enjoyment that emanates from the grooves.

According to DeLaria, one of the requirements for the material selection was that each song "had to swing. The main problem is that all pop/rock songs do not swing. Most of them do not even tell a story in their lyrics or their melodies (which are mostly fragmented), and certainly not their chord changes, which in most cases are nonexistent. This recording is an interesting experiment, but there are so many "standard" standards that are waiting to be most ably interpreted by Lea DeLaria.

The vocalist's performance at Smoke last month was a high-energy affair. She appeared with the trio of pianist Janice Friedman, drummer Barbara Marjon, and bassist Debbie Kennedy. DeLaria has a commanding stage presence and a desire to have a swinging good time, which extends to both the musicians and the audience. This message obviously got across, because this evening's audience was quite responsive.

The set was comprised of selections from Double Standards, but there was a difference between the feel of the recording and this live performance. DeLaria's up front personality comes to the fore more readily in person. Starting off with "I'm Just A Girl, DeLaria bounced, sang, and scatted her way through "Call Me. Her rendition of "Dancing Barefoot featured some good piano work by Janice Friedman. As on the CD, DeLaria encourages her musicians to play their best and gives them room to do so. (And she's their best audience.)

Midway through this set, DeLaria introduced a guest artist—guitarist Sheryl Bailey—who performed an innovative solo on "Jumpin' With Symphony Sid. DeLaria turned in an impressive scat solo. This was followed by a very soulful interpretation of "Philadelphia. The set was topped off by a rousing version of "Been Caught Stealing, which gave DeLaria another opportunity to display her amazing chops.


Track Listing: Dancing Barefoot; Kiko and the Lavender Moon; Call Me; Philadelphia; Just a Girl; Been Caught Stealing; Black Hole Sun; People Are Strange; Tattooed Love Boys; Alliance; Longview.

Personnel: Lea DeLaria: vocals; Seamus Blake: tenor saxophone; Gil Goldstein: piano, accordion, keyboards, Fender Rhodes; Bill Hayes: glass harmonica; Bashiri Johnson: percussion; Christian McBride: bass; Adam Rogers: guitar.

Title: Double Standards | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Telarc Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Solo a Genoa CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genoa
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "An Eye on the Future" CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Welcome to Swingsville!" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Drifting Home" CD/LP/Track Review Drifting Home
by Jerome Wilson
Published: November 12, 2017
Read "Sovereign" CD/LP/Track Review Sovereign
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 30, 2017
Read "Cherry ‎– Sakura" CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017