Sunday, November 02, 2003

A Cool Breeze from the North

Went to the TI Jazz Band concert tonight, and as always, it was a fine show. They've had a knack for bringing in top-notch jazz artists lately (check out my post about their concert last spring with Kurt Elling), and tonight was no exception.

The name Carol Welsman may not be familiar to many outside her native Canada, but she's a major talent deserving of your attention. She was named "Jazz Singer of the Year" in Canada for 2002, and now she's moved to L.A. and is ready to conquer the States. Not only is she a fine singer, she's also an excellent pianist who can scat and play a solo line simultaneously (much like George Benson does with his guitar). The combo numbers with Carol at the piano were exceptional (kudos to Pete, Frank, Joe and Herbert of the TI Band for backing her up); among the highlights were a slowed-down, partially reharmonized rendition of "The Girl from Ipanema" and a hip-hop version of "I Got Rhythm." She also did a beautiful solo version of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" and pointed out an interesting factoid: the tune was written while London was being bombed during World War II. The band played great; you would probably never know without reading the program that most of them have day jobs as engineers. All in all, it was another fine show, and I'm glad these guys are a part of our college jazz program.