I’ve only been to The Vic twice, first time to hear Roger Kellaway’s trio and and last Thursday night to hear Bill Henderson and celebrate his 80th birthday. Many of you would recognize Bill from his acting roles (ranging from big screen roles in movies such as City Slickers to small screen appearances on shows such as Cosby, ER, and lots of commercials), but if you are not familiar with Bill’s singing, you should check him out. Some may find him to be an acquired taste, his sound is recognizable and his style, phrasing, and interpretations of a song are always unique. He’s a hipster more than a suave crooner, yet it’s his ballads that I love most. Bill has recorded a bit, some out of print releases on the Discovery label and Bill Henderson/Oscar Peterson Trio (Polygram 1989), but my favorites are his four tracks accompanied by a chamber orchestra on a Charlie Haden CD titled The Art of The Song (Polygram 1999).
The Vic is an intimate room reminiscent of an old speakeasy, complete with password-required rear-door entry. A living-room setting with good food, a full bar, and excellent music — who could ask for anything more? This coming Thursday we’ll be there again to cheer on Clairdee, who is making a rare Los Angeles appearance. If you are a DevraDoWrite regular, then you’ve heard a bit about her before, and hopefully checked out her web site and perhaps purchased a CD or two. Accompanying her will be her musical director and pianist Ken French, along with Los Angeles’ own dynamic duo that is The Cross Hart Jazz Experience (Ryan Cross on bass and Lorca Hart on drums.) If you watch Friends, ER, The West Wing, Girlfriends or Eve, chances are you have heard music by The Cross Hart Jazz Experience.
Here’s are some press quotes about Clairdee
Downbeat – “Clairdee invests the songs with generous spirit and unpretentious sincerity.”
USA Today – “Clairdee offers swinging renditions of traditional tunes.”
San Francisco Examiner – “She is among the most skilled and appealing singers around – fine songs, beautiful voice, great moves.”
WBGO Radio, New York – “A force to be reckoned with!”
Urban Network – “A heartfelt connection that swings, grooves and soothes.”
Jazz Now Magazine – “Clairdee’s clear contralto is laid back and mellow, her phrasing impeccable, her lyrical interpretations warm and unpretentious. She produces a compelling argument for a prominent niche among the best of today’s young female vocalists.”
and a link back to what I wrote about her appearance at IAJE in New York.
The Vic is located at 2640 Main Street, Santa Monica CA 90405. Two shows — 8 PM and 10 PM. Call for reservations: 888-367-5299. I’ll be present for both of Clairdee’s shows, so if you’re there, please be sure to say hello. That’s this Thursday, March 30th.