Anita O’Day comes back to life tonight. Read Mel Minter’s story about it here: Susan Abod honors the Jezebel of jazz.
The Tribute Trio Unhooks Itself
The Tribute Trio—John Rangel (piano), Michael Glynn (bass) and Cal Haines (drums)—paid homage to iconic jazz pianists/composers in a series of monthly concerts from May 2010 to April 2011. Each focused on a particular pianist—except for the last. That final concert celebrated the release of the trio’s first album, Dedications, Vol. 1, which featured original compositions inspired by some of the pianists they’d been exploring. This week, they release Dedications, Vol. 2, with original compositions that find their inspiration across a wider landscape. On Vol. 2, the trio unhooks itself from specific pianists’ styles and explores its own identity with greater freedom. The high point comes in a tender homage to the trio’s artistic director, Victoria Rogers. Written by Rangel, the composition walks a line between jazz and classical terrains, offering an unguarded musical expression of gratitude that’s full of endearing quirks à la Satie (and à la Rogers). What the new release says more than anything is that the trio is its own man, with compositional skills and musicianship worthy of wider attention. You can catch an earful at the album release concert, where the CD will be available for a discounted price.
The Jezebel of Jazz Redux
Susan Abod honors Anita O'Day
Vocalist and songwriter Susan Abod has been working hard on her upcoming Anita O’Day tribute concert, but her commitment goes only so far. She’s immersed herself in O’Day’s recordings and videos, read her autobiography, been rehearsing the material night and day, and even gone in search of a wide-brimmed hat and white gloves to recall the singer’s iconic appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. She has, however, steadfastly refused to tour the country in dance marathons, marry her drummer, have her uvula excised by a sloppy surgeon, or explore heroine and alcohol addiction—all of which marked the life of O’Day.