All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

151

Lisa Sokolov at Enzo's Jazz Room

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Lisa Sokolov
Enzo's Jazz
The Jolly Hotel Madison
New York, NY

April 18, 2007

Lisa Sokolov is one of those performers who must be experienced. Yes, her 2004 CD Presence won Best CD of 2004 from Downbeat Magazine, but I had not heard it. Enzo Capua told me she was something special, and he was not kidding.

The most important thing was that Sokolov gave a total, one hundred percent, no-holding-back performance in front of no more than fifteen people. Sokolov is a force of nature and literally took over the room for the hour.

It was easy to sit there and list the stylistic influences: Bette Midler in energy and pure camp, Janis Joplin in the sometimes scratchy voice, Leon Russel for the preaching, Laura Nyro during "God Bless The Child" and maybe Nina Simone somehow.

However, the single most important influence must be Betty Carter. No, Sokolov does not sound at all like Carter. Carter was called "avant-garde" because of the way she deconstructed a song, sometimes turning it inside out, to get at its center. No one sang "If I Could Write A Book" like Carter and no one sings "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning" like Sokolov.

Rather than search for influences and comparisons, the only thing to do during this amazing set was to sit back and let the shaman named Lisa Sokolov cure you—avant-garde, indeed! Supporting this whirlwind were bassist Cameron Brown and drummer Gerry Hemingway, both of whom appeared on the record. Thus, the trio was a well-oiled machine and the act ran smooth as silk.

Not that Cameron and Hemingway merely played their parts. Cameron had some notated music, but Hemingway did not, and both of them followed Sokolov's every twist and turn, even when it appeared she did not know exactly what was going to happen. Cameron showed he can turn on a dime (a necessary skill with Sokolov to be sure), while Hemingway produced more of a percussive backdrop than a beat as he constantly switched between brushes, mallets and his hands.

In sum, Sokolov should be considered more a jazz musician than a jazz vocalist, and with this set, she just blew me away.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
A Quiet Thing

A Quiet Thing

Laughing Horse Records
2009

buy
 

Presence

Rhythm Zone
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Tallinn Music Week 2018 Live Reviews
Tallinn Music Week 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: April 19, 2018
Read James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum Live Reviews
James Blood Ulmer and the Thing at Bochum Art Museum
by Phillip Woolever
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano Live Reviews
Jocelyn Medina at Jazz at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 16, 2018
Read Marbin at The Firmament Live Reviews
Marbin at The Firmament
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 15, 2018
Read Big Ears Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Big Ears Festival 2018
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 13, 2018
Read Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club Live Reviews
Meg Morley Trio at 606 Club
by Gareth Thomas
Published: April 13, 2018
Read "Vossajazz 2017" Live Reviews Vossajazz 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre" Live Reviews Sue Rynhart at The Cresent Arts Centre
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 15, 2017
Read "The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Higher Ground" Live Reviews The Chris Robinson Brotherhood at Higher Ground
by Doug Collette
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Omar Sosa At SFJAZZ
by Walter Atkins
Published: May 13, 2017