Jazz at Kitano, the club in Gotham's Kitano Hotel on Park Ave. and 38th St., continues to grow in popularity with artists and audiences alike -the former avidly competing for the best dates and the latter chatting about the room's intimacy and sensible pricing policy.
On November 19th we caught Carol Fredette's opening set joining the packed house for a panoply of recently recorded hits and adventures with new composers. Intriguingly, after a lifetime of success with a variety of jazz genres, Fredette continues to grow as an artist. She opened the set with "The Best Thing for You Would be Me" from her recent award-winning No Sad Songs for Me, and scattered other tunes from the CD ("Opatu," "Can't We be Friends") during the set. I've heard her sing this material quite often since the CD release but was struck by the many bold new phrasing outreaches she employed. Not content with the excellent achievement of No Sad Songs for Me nor with the delightful phrasing changes of the recorded material she delivered in her last appearance at Kitano a few months back, the veteran chanteuse explored still new territory and had me shaking my head in wonder as I've often done before.
In addition, she added new selections ("You can't Trust Spring," and "Please don't Bug Me") from fresh writers and once again displayed her long-standing obsession for new creativity. The playful patter with her hard swinging trioDave Lalama on piano, Dean Johnson on bass, and Tim Horner on drumsadded another slice of entertainment appeal to the set.
We all can only hope for Fredette to continue to lead the jazz parade in our town for a long while.
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