The preferred language of the night was Standards, Straight Ahead, and Blues at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art. An incredible songstress of Jazz, Janis Mann made many statements with her quartet on Friday, September 26, 2008.
The quartet joining Janis consisted of the following fabulous musicians
Piano – Jim Cox
Woodwinds (of all kinds) – Doug Webb
Bass – Chuck Berghoffer
Drums - Lorca Hart
Vocals - Janis Mann
Janis gave us a perfect rebuttal to the current economy crisis that faces us in this nation with a Billie Holiday favorite. A bluesy, down home, heartfelt and soul-filled to the bone rendition that was all Janis on - "God Bless the Child ". It earnestly caused you to wonder as you listened to this section of the lyrics
"A crust of bread and such
You can help yourself
But don't take too much...."
The daunting words seemed to ask what would the end result be for some of us every day folks after the decisions made by those in higher places.
Janis' attention to the Spiritual/Blues tones of the piece were remarkable and affecting.
"Just in Time” and Burton Lane's "That Old Devil Moon" had a cool and swinging touch that Janis shares through her spellbound connection with the audience.
Janis and the ensemble performed a pleasing to the palette version on "Honeysuckle Rose".
A tune composed by the amazingly creative pianist, Thomas "Fats" Waller.
In a tribute to the "Divine One" Sarah Vaughn, Janis gave us an exquisite interpretation of "So Many Stars" that fully captivated us.
Doug on Flute, one of the many woodwind instruments on which he performed that evening, transported us beyond those stars with beauty and control.
Jim on Piano, Chuck on Bass, Lorca on Drums expressed intuitive and intensive modes that were in full gear all evening. They individually and in union enveloped the audience in anticipation, syncopation, and moment after moment of rapture.
There was sweet exchange between Doug on Sax and Janis and Chuck on Bass and Janis that accented the night. Lorca on drums made several astounding statements bringing on shout in reaction to the calls and responses of the musicians.
Janis continued her love affair with drummers as she bonded throughout the night with Lorca.
This was ultimately excursion that left me with fulfillment and exhilaration. I'm certain that the entire audience of jazz devotees would authenticate this to be so.
Come out and join The Los Angeles County Museum of Art their continuing Jazz Mission each Friday evening through November, 2008. You'll be more than happy you made the trip.