*Vocal jazz in two distinct styles was the order of the night when Grammy-winners Al Jarreau and Dee Dee Bridgewater brought distinctly different shades of the music to Downtown Los Angeles’ Disney Hall on Sunday, March 21.
Jarreau offered a set that found him wistfully looking back at classics from his own ’70s and ’80s catalog.
Bridgewater looked back with reverence at the music of the iconic Billie Holiday (in conjunction with her new album, Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie, With Love, From Dee Dee, released on the lady’s own DDB CD imprint featuring arrangements helmed by her longtime accompanist, pianist Edsel Gomez – a wonder all night).
Bridgewater entered looking slim, marvelous and shaven of head as she launched into a rendering of “Lover Man” that alternated nicely between sweetness and lustfulness as only this lady could sing of need and longing.
Her rendering of “Don’t Explain” brought deep understanding to the subtext beneath the lyric and featured a brilliant solo from Craig Handy on flute (extra impressive because he had just wowed everyone with a fine soprano sax solo on the opener).
Never shy, Dee Dee indulged in a fierce rhythmic battle with drummer Greg Hutchinson on a swingin “A Foggy Day” that included some fiery scatting.
She brought her get-down-blues game to a saucy “Fine and Mellow” (with Handy distractingly abstract on tenor here), then left the multi-reed man’s side to flirt shamelessly with upright bassist Ira Coleman on the playful (and shamefully under-heard) “Mother’s Son-in-Law” – a gem from the early years of Holiday’s career.
Read A. Scott Galloway’s full review HERE.