Tuesday, November 07, 2006

About a week ago I had a visit to the blog from Sue Bell (no relation that I know). She is an aspiring jazz singer from Seattle who, in addition to saying nice things about the blog, provided a link to her own web page where one can listen to samples from her album. I listened, liked what I heard and followed the link to CD Baby and ordered the CD. Is she the next great voice in jazz or pop? No, but I like her. Why? It's hard to explain, but let me try.

Picture this: You are in a little jazz club. The band is great, all old pros who are tearing it up while trying to keep the music accessible to the casual drinker off the street. The club is almost empty. At the table with you is a talented friend who has sat in with the guys before. They invite her up on stage to do a few songs. Not show tunes or jazz standards, but some of those tunes from the seventies that you secretly liked but were too cool to admit to while putting your Clash or Elvis Costello lps on the turn table. She sounds great. Not a perfect voice, but she sings the hell out of those sappy old songs, stripping out the schmaltz and leaving the honest sentiment behind. And the band sounds like they are having the time of their lives. It's over, and as you walk out, you leave smiling.