All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live From Philadelphia

93

Singers & Swingers Of A Sort

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Some superb sultry, swinging, singing stars were filling Philadelphia skies with mostly great jazz and pop vocals this night. Unfortunately, not all were as good as they can be. Read on...

KIMMEL CENTER’s Mellon Jazz Fridays returned Nov. 14 with classic jazz-pop diva, Cassandra Wilson and the exciting young jazz pianist, Jason Moran, who had the audience enthralled in his last visit here. The N.Y. Times called her the most important singer to come along in the last 10 years. Time magazine said she was the most accomplished jazz vocalist of her generation. People magazine said she was “pure seduction.” She was backed at Kimmel by Brandon Ross, guitar; Gregoire Mare, harmonica; Jeffrey Haynes, percussion; Lonnie Plaxico, bass and Terri Lyne Carrington, drums. Their sound system was so amplified that it was like sitting inside a juke box. That’s for those who remember juke boxes. Mr. Moran opened the show with his just released “The Bandwagon” featuring Moran, piano; Taurus Mateen, bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. Downbeat said they “could well be the best band in the land.” .Moran has been getting rave reviews from critics nationwide, but the performance on Nov. 14 was pretentious and poorly conceieved. Whoever gave him the idea of interjecting music selections with an audio background that blasted out like a hip-hop radio sitting next to you on a bus should find another line of work. The audio again was so loud the commentary (I guess that is what it was) that was used was distorted and those words that could be heard were inane. Not his finest hour!

ORTLIEB”S JAZZ HAUS Nov. 14 showcased, Stephanie Nakasian, a singer acclaimed by top jazz writers since she started back in the mid 80s with jazz icon Jon Hendricks. The New Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz said she is “one of the most important jazz singers in the world today.” She is one of the few singers evoking comparisons with such greats as Lee Wiley, Helen Ward, and Helen Humes. Her CD “Invitation to an Escapade” was described as having “almost seamless charm.” She was backed by top flight jazz pianist Hod O’ Brien who has worked with such stars as Art Farmer, Donald Byrd and Oscar Pettiford. Together they provided a marvelous demonstration of how exciting good jazz vocals can be when done by a singer who cares enough about the lyrics to make them coherent. Ms Nakasian brings back the magic of the great jazz band vocalists of the 30s and 40s. Hod O'Brien gave her eloquent piano support helped along by owner Pete Souder's Trio. The band seemed to be having fun and I know the audience was. Ms Nakasian's CD tribute to June Christy—Lullaby in Rhythm, can give you some idea of what you may have missed.

THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART Nov. 14 gave museum goers a visual-listening treat with Stacey Kent, a London-based singer, returning home to the United States. She has six best selling albums and the 2001 British Jazz Award and 2002 BBC Best Jazz Vocalist Award. She reportedly went to europe as a student and ended up as one of its stars. He newest CD is “The Boy next Door” and Clint Eastwood and Oprah Winfrey are two fans. The N.Y. Times described her Algonquin Hotel Oak Room appearance as providing a steady current of joy...” The Wall Street Journal said she “has charm to burn.” She sounds as cute as she looks.

CHRIS’ JAZZ CAFE NEXT Friday and Saturday is featuring just great jazz: sax star, Eric Alexander; John Swana, trumpet; Craig Ebner, guitar; Lucas Brown, organ and Dan Monaghan, drums. on Friday with Sid Simmons, piano; Lee Smith bass and Dan Monaghan, drums on Saturday.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at World Cafe Live Live From Philadelphia
Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at World Cafe Live
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 11, 2018
Read Katie Thiroux Trio at South Jazz Parlor Live From Philadelphia
Katie Thiroux Trio at South Jazz Parlor
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 28, 2018
Read Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie Live From Philadelphia
Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 9, 2017
Read Glenn Zaleski Trio at Chris' Jazz Cafe Live From Philadelphia
Glenn Zaleski Trio at Chris' Jazz Cafe
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 8, 2017
Read Sittin' In with the Odean Pope Trio at the Kimmel Center Live From Philadelphia
Sittin' In with the Odean Pope Trio at the Kimmel...
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 16, 2017
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at Germantown Settlement School Live From Philadelphia
Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio at Germantown Settlement School
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at World Cafe Live" Live From Philadelphia Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at World Cafe Live
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 11, 2018
Read "Katie Thiroux Trio at South Jazz Parlor" Live From Philadelphia Katie Thiroux Trio at South Jazz Parlor
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie" Live From Philadelphia Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Smokin' at The Nash" In Pictures Smokin' at The Nash
by Dave Kaufman
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Nicole Henry with the John Toomey Trio in Norfolk" In Pictures Nicole Henry with the John Toomey Trio in Norfolk
by Mark Robbins
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants" Profiles Courtney Pine: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
by David Burke
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Tal Wilkenfeld Live At The Belly Up Tavern" SoCal Jazz Tal Wilkenfeld Live At The Belly Up Tavern
by Jim Worsley
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Enrico Rava Tribe Quintet at the Folkclub" In Pictures Enrico Rava Tribe Quintet at the Folkclub
by Antonio Baiano
Published: November 19, 2017
Read "Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center" Live Reviews Fred Hersch's Leaves Of Grass at Jazz at Lincoln Center
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 26, 2017