Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rickie Lee Jones Redux

The rep from SF Jazz* requested 'absolutely no video or photos, please' before introducing the evening's honored guest to the stage of Davies Symphony Hall.  I don't know if I was the only person in the crowded hall with an iPhone who heeded this request; nonetheless, I have no photos of Rickie Lee Jones, eccentric and exultant in her pink beret, pajama- esque pants and platform heels, as she took the stage with a crack band to perform her first two albums more than 30 years after their release. Nor can I post any video or recordings of her voice — primal, in control, emotion and hair raising — as she scatted and vamped her way through the set whose order she mixed up according to her whim (and often her band's surprise). I can tell you she is a master: songwriter, mood-catcher, musician and performer. The crowd loved her. Moody, demanding, a little grouchy, she was having a great time, directing her band on the spot, enjoying their generous solos (her horn section was worth the price of admission itself) and giving it all to each song (she had no problem stopping a tune after an ever-so-slightly lackluster first verse to take it again from the top and get it right), despite how many times she may have played them over her rich and varied career. I think it was the 4th or 5th time I've seen her live in the past 25 years and, like every time before, she blew me away with her talent and energy.

*It was heartening to hear that SF Jazz was enjoying its best, most well-attended season in all of its 28 years. They recently broke ground on its new center for jazz.


Louise said...

wow! Lucky you...How exciting.
Hope you are well, sounds like you are very fine

Karen said...

Coincidentally just yesterday I heard Kurt Andersen interview her on Studio 360. It's archived if you missed it.

Bird in the Tree said...

Thanks for the tip Karen, I'll check out the archive.
@ Lou Lou, yes, a lot of goodness going on!
xo, D