January 31, 2011

Brunch With Jazz Singer Lea Delaria

Yesterday, I was invited for an only-in-New York experience; a jazz brunch featuring Lea Delaria and a sharp jazz trio at Smoke.  This restaurant/lounge tucked away on the Upper West Side is a charming and very intimate space for a performer but, fortunately, Ms. Delaria, formerly know for her out-there standup in the 80s/90s, is not shy.

She is a remarkable singer and was in top form as she did an hourlong set for the brunch crowd.  I remember first seeing her sing in the lovely production of ON THE TOWN at the Public's Central Park stage.  She blew me, and the audience, away with her brassy interpretation of Hilde, the rat-a-tat cab driver, and her unique song stylings of the Camden/Green standards.  Lea, along with Mary Testa, stole the show.

Well, now she's got her own show and rightly so.  Not to mention more than a few CD's on Warner's Jazz label.  One I am downloading today is called Double Standard, where she converts some unlikely pop songs into the jazz canon, most notably Blondie's CALL ME.  I wish I could post it here but you'll just have to download it yourself on iTunes.  I don't know that much about Jazz, but I do love Blondie and this is an amazing cover!

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