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Live At Yoshis: Blue Monday Party by Denise Perrier

An impressive 11-minute, five-song Duke Ellington medley opens Denise Perrier’s CD, Live at Yoshi’s: Blue Monday Party.

It’s a strong and fitting introduction to the San Francisco-based vocalist. In the wide-ranging medley, Perrier establishes herself as a commanding singer with a big, warm voice and a stylish delivery, who capably swings "Don’t Get Around Much Any More," puts a slow simmer on "Mood Indigo" and then romps through "Take The A Train."

Perrier is a versatile performer who has taken part in the Smithsonian Institute’s Ellington touring tribute and has even portrayed blues legend Bessie Smith in a theater production.

Judging by this live CD, she is an engaging big band singer at ease with a collection of standards and confident in front of audience. Many live CDs miss the mark because the sonics are poor or the performance is edited to the point that it might as well be a studio recording. Live at Yoshi’s, however, avoids those troubles. It’s clear that Perrier is performing live, and she actually sounds like she is having a good time. The CD manages to capture a little of the show’s atmosphere. No small feat. "Ain’t nothing but a party," she reminds the audience. "Loosen up out there."

The band members, especially pianist Al Plank and trumpet player John Worley, inject some nice solos throughout the show, including on "Ain’t Misbehavin."

The Ellington medley stands out on the 10-track CD, but Perrier also delivers a slow and easy version of "Until The Real Thing Comes Along" and a satisfying "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart" that boasts a terrific horn opening, creating an appropriate big band atmosphere.

Perrier closes the CD with the naughty "Big Long Slidin’ Thing."

She isn’t as well as known as some other female vocalists, but this CD proves Perrier is a dynamic singer.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Denise Perrier
  • CD Title: Live At Yoshis: Blue Monday Party
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Chez Perrier Records
  • Tracks: Ellington Medley, All Of Me, Until The Real Thing Comes Along, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart, I’ll Take Romance, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, More Today Than Yesterday and Big Long Slidin’ Thing.
  • Musicians: Denise Perrier (vocals), Al Plank (piano), Kash Killian (bass), Harold Jones (drums), Bobby Tynes (saxophone), Ray Loeckle (saxophone), John Worley (trumpet), Steve Campos (trumpet), Bryan Gould (trombone), John Hunt (trombone) and Jim Putman (guitar)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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