The evening breeze brought a chill to the crowd. It wasn't long before the temperature warmed up as the vocal chops of Barbara Morrison and her soulful ensemble began their performance to a packed house at the Hollywood and Highland Shopping Center Courtyard on June 3, 2008.
Helen Borgers from KJAZZ 88.1 FM Station was our gracious hostess for the evening.
Barbara, a Jazz and Blues musician with her band kicked off the season of the "The Wine and Jazz Summer series" with a smorgasbord of Jazz, Blues, Soul, endearing stories, and interaction with the crowd.
"I love being here with you" was the welcoming tune followed by a tribute to love birds in the audience - "The Very thought of you".
Barbara honored the great lady of swing and scat, Ella Fitzgerald with "Lullaby at Birdland "scat-controlled, sassy and bold - Barbara linked with the audience. She moved on to Duke Ellington’s, "They can't take that away from me" and invited her fans to join in with song and dance as couple took to the floor with smiles in swing dance.
Moving on to a Cole Porter favorite, "Love for Sale" and Ira and George Gershwin’s, "I was Doing Alright"
There was an amalgamation of longing and love as Barbara and pianist Ron Bishop performed one of Barbara’s favorite’s Bill Evan’s unforgettable pieces, “Never let me go”.
It was simply beautiful. We embraced her sentiment as she sang.
Barbara continued to stir our hearts with the Percy Mayfield entreaty tune, "Please send me someone to love" and caused our souls to yearn all the more on her waltz-like rendition of Johnny Hartman's, "My one and only love".
Always the versatile performer, Barbara took the tune, "With you I'm born-again" from a devoted ballad proclamation to a swinging frenzy.
The ensemble provided some discriminating bass work by Ricky "Wally" Taylor, enthralling drum deftness by Peter Buck, clever guitar performance by Charles Small, and soulful chord progression expertise on Saxophone by Clarence Webb.
What would a night with Barbara Morrison be without the Blues?
She performed "Black-Eyed Blues", "Red Top", "Down home Blues", and "Feel like breaking up someone's home" which alluded to a few invitations to some men in the audience. Their wives were present...but Barbara interacted with the spouse before giving a flirtatious smile and invitation to her prey.
Barbara Morrison has a congenial and embracing manner that embraces all individuals of the audience into the evening of musical ecstasy and pleasure. For sure, her smile can not be denied as she asks you to join in with dance, singing, and fun.
She shares candidly and connectedly easily infecting all with the Jazz & Blues bug.
The Hollywood and Highland summer Jazz and Wine Series is a truly wonderful event and opportunity to unwind, enjoy a summer night, and give to the community. There is food, wine, hot and cold drinks, and deserts available.
The wine series offers a different vineyard or sponsor each week with all proceeds going to Project Angel Food. A mission providing meals for women and children infected with HIV/AIDS and other illnesses.
The series takes place every Tuesday night from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the Hollywood and Highland shopping center located next to the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
Please see their website at www.hollywoodandhighland.com.