Julia Dollison, who sang with Maria Schneider‘s big band last week, is in town to promote her first CD, Observatory. To that end she’ll be performing tonight at the Jazz Standard, accompanied by Ben Monder on guitar, Matt Clohesy on bass, and Ted Poor on drums, the same band heard on the album.
Regular visitors to this blog won’t need further instructions, but if you’re just now joining us, here’s an excerpt from the liner notes I wrote for Observatory:
“There’s this singer I want you to meet. She’s really, really good.” I must hear at least three variations per month on that tired old theme, but when Maria Schneider spoke those words to me five years ago, I took them seriously. What kind of jazz singer, I asked myself, would be interesting enough to catch the ear of the outstanding big-band composer of her generation?
Here’s the answer.
It starts with the voice: warm, airy, dappled with summer sunshine, technically bulletproof from top to bottom….Such voices are born, not made, and Julia Dollison has one. Yet she never coasts on her chops. Instead, she sings like a horn player in love with lyrics, the way Lester Young knew all the words to every ballad he played. Her solos are pointed and meaningful, little musical stories that take you to places you’ve never been.
Then comes the style, an alchemical blend of jazz and pop that makes Harold Arlen and Rufus Wainwright sound not like strange bedfellows but the oldest of friends. Don’t call it “fusion,” though: that might smack of calculation, and there’s nothing calculated about Julia’s singing. She grew up listening to all kinds of music, and now she just sings what she hears, naturally and unselfconsciously….
Two sets, at 7:30 and 9:30. For more information, go here and scroll down.