I am so glad I spent the money on myself to go to hear her! I probably didn’t need to splurge on a Walleye Cesear and a scotch, but I did anyway.
As the set started I realized that I haven’t been to see live Jazz since I was in New York City in 2000. That was an amazing night with an old high school friend. A house blues band and too many scotches that he bought (he had a bigger and better expense account…he bought the sushi too) that resulted in me sharing a cigar with him by the end of the night. Oy. And no, I’m not telling any more about that!
But tonight! Tonight was amazing. I don’t know where to start. The musicianship from the stage was unparalleled in my recent experience. She was here with her Trio. Piano, double-bass and a woodwind player that I haven’t seen the likes of since my college days when I was dating Richard Dirlam. (He was/is the first musician that ever made me lust in my heart for him just by playing MUSIC. Sadly we didn’t really make good duet partners “in person” if you know what I mean. And he was also the first person I dated who turned me off completely by saying “Oh, I don’t pay attention to politics. I figure they know what they’re doing.” But he is an amazing musician.)
Over the course of the evening tonight, the sax player played: Tenor Sax, Alto Sax, Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet (using circular breathing at one point!!) and Bass Flute.
The set started with Invitation to the Blues which just grabbed me by the throat. I was really concerned that if the whole night was going to be like that piece, I might be a mess of snot and water by the end. And what would the people sitting on either side of me at the knee-wall of the bar think about that?
But I was saved by a rendition of It’s Too Darn Hot, which doesn’t seem to be recorded. Or at least not released in the US via iTunes. But it changed the mood and wasn’t quite so….personal.
Then something from the new album “Holly Cole”, This House is Haunted By the Echo of Your Last Goodbye, another traditional tune. Next up was Cry (If You Want to) which, if I hadn’t been thinking about a certain kilt-wearing saxophone player before this, this would have been the point at which I couldn’t have helped it.
One album I might have to get is “Temptation” which is a collection of Tom Waits songs. She did an amazing job on Tango Til They’re Sore. Tom Waits songs are always so interesting to me. Sometimes I get so distracted by his voice that I don’t hear the text. But when someone else sings it, it really breaks open the lyric. This was no exception. And, like Lovett’s God Will, (which they did not play) I like her version better than the composer’s.
Then came Me and My Shadow. I have to say, she has so much fun with the old standards and treats them so creatively that they are really fresh and new.
The next song is driving me crazy because I can’t figure out the title. She introduced it by saying that she grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia by the sea and that this was her favorite song about the sea. I didn’t recognize it though and the titles I guessed at are not listed on iTunes either. BUT this is the one where the bass clarinet and string bass started out like a fog horn, and then the the two of them had a riff that painted gently but continuous rolling waves, and THAT’S where I realized “He’s using circular breathing!” (For all the non-music geeks that’s when, while you’re playing, you puff out your cheeks with air, then use that air to play a few more notes while you breath in through your nose. Usually used by trumpet players because there’s not such a huge column of air to keep moving while you do it. But this was with a BASS CLARINET!!)
Three standards were next. Slow Boat to China, Larger than Life and Charade were next, and again: fun, unexpected treatments and not cliched. Followed by I want you, one she wrote, (I think.) Then her finale was I Can See Clearly Now.
They came back for an encore set. You’ve Got a Secret, another she wrote but not recorded (and one I felt like she had written for me — hello, cliche moment from About a Boy. Gack.) But it was a great song. And then used Ain’t it a Kick in the Head while she introduced and told little stories about each of the guys; Johnny Johnson, Mark and Dave…don’t remember their last names!! I went to her site and I learned that her trio is not “standard”… at least on the albums and there’s no real Trio page.
So I leave the club, feeling great and thinking “I should text McKilt and tell him to come down for the 9:30 show. He’d love this. But the MC said there weren’t tickets left.” Plus, I keep this inner dialog going that’s something like “Just because you think he’d like _____ doesn’t mean you have to tell him about it.”
So, I forget about that and thought about what a fabulous time I had. I got home and decided to download a few of the songs and write this post. And I felt my phone vibrate. It was 3 text messages. One from my YWCA trainer saying I needed to do 50 sit-ups before bed! And 2 from McKilt, saying that it was good to see me last Saturday and that his daughter really did break her wrist again when she fell (she was roller skating with the drama club that night.)
So I texted back and said how sorry I was to hear about his daughter…hope she mends quickly, etc. And “I was just thinking about you as I was at The Dakota to hear Holly Cole. Wow! You know her, right?”
He texts back: “I’m sitting at the Dakota’s bar as I write this waiting for the 9:30 show to start. I broke my vow of not spending money on myself just for this!”
Of course, I had to reply that “You are going to LOVE it. And you deserve every penny and each note. At least that’s what I told myself.”
*sigh* Second guessing oneself is such a fun time.
OH!!! I almost forgot. I walked from the parking garage (my usual one for work) to the club (just a couple of blocks) and back WITHOUT A COAT. I know, I know: I’m going on and on and ON about that. And evil-e is going to say I’m jinxing it. But I already know we’re owed a March blizzard. It comes with the territory. And my mom’s birthday and the high school tournaments. That I got a break before that happened just was the cherry on top of the icing on the cake.
Must do this again, real soon. But also need to remember to not plan to eat at the club. The food was fabulous but too expensive.