JAZZ SPOTLIGHT - Setting some new standards

Connie Evingson
" Let It Be Jazz" (Summit Records)


Minneapolis-based Evingson is hardly the first jazz singer to find inspiration in the Lennon-McCartney catalog, the source of recordings by John Pizzarelli, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, among numerous others. But Evingson, working closely with pianist Mary Louise Knutson, has approached familiar (as well as some less familiar) Beatles tunes with inventive musicality. "Blackbird," for example, opens with a sitar sound immediately suggesting "Norwegian Wood." But the tune suddenly shifts into the bass pattern from Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue," with Evingson's smooth-toned rendering of the "Blackbird" melody. Other tunes take equally offbeat tacks: "When I'm Sixty-four" with a tango tinge, "Oh! Darling" in a barrelhouse groove, "Can't Buy Me Love" with a roving bass and chattering drums. And she fills out the entertaining program with some lesser-known Lennon & McCartney items — "The Night Before," "I'm Looking Through You" — all sung with gently floating rhythmic swing.


- By Don Heckman, Special to The LA Times

© 2003-2018 Connie Evingson