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Blue Lady Jazz Festival

The warm ambience that filled the room at Hollywood Park Casino on Sunday afternoon was a tribute to the late Joe Williams. A two day jazz event, presented by jazz artist Barbara Morrison, with a stellar line up that included herself as well as Sweet Baby J’ai, Bill Henderson, Yve Evans, Billy Mitchell, Kim Yarbrough Art Hillery, Niki Harris, Dee Dee McNeal and other jazz artists.

With radio personality James Janisse of KLON-FM (88.1), as Emcee for Sunday afternoon, the show got under way. Barbara Morrison began with her dynamic stage present and creative style as she delivers the richness of artistic tones that reaches far beyond just jazz itself. Morrison is also profoundly entrenched in the blues as well, with recordings such as "I’m Gettin’ Long All Right" and "Stormy Monday."

Yve Evans appearance was as equally as wonderful. Yve, revered as an accomplished keyboardist began with "Straighten Up And Fly Right" a well known swing tune, she continued with "Peel Me A Grape" that was preformed with perfection from her Grammy nominated album, See me. Many other jazz artists have recorded the song, but none captures the authenticity and creativity as the original, written and recorded by Yve Evans herself. Evans continued with a tune called, "I Love Him So" and encouraged the audience to interact in the cunning, but delightful tune.

Bill Henderson was truly a pleasure with the presence of demureness and a comedic demeanor as well. Henderson rendition of "That Old Black Magic" gives you a sense of the earnest jazz vocalist that he truly is with many CD’s to his credit. Niki Harris was a thrill to watch and very enjoyable with her energetic version of "Never Make Your Move To Soon," to Kim Yarbrough lovely rendering of "Body and Soul." Dee Dee McNeal’s beautiful selection of Stanley Turpentine’s’ "Midnight Eyes" to the compelling classic "Good Morning Heartache" was very forceful as it was appropriate as both tunes fit the mood of the evening.

Perhaps, the most alluring moments were introduced during Sweet Baby J’ai set, as she sang "Summertime On Central Avenue," a song reminiscing of the history regarding many jazz legends that has come and gone on Central Avenue. Her captivating depiction of "Autumn Leaves" from her latest CD Evolution, to her spirited signature song "Meet With Your Black Draws On" kept the audience wiled. The room was certainly filled with a deep impression of satisfaction, given the warm and wonderful performances throughout the evening.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Unknown
  • Concert Date: 2/17/2002
  • Venue: Hollywood Park Casino
  • City State Country: Inglewood, CA -- USA
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