Monday, May 7, 2007

Highlight of JazzFest: Corinne Bailey Rae

We saw a lot of great shows, and, to be honest, I thought the songwriting on her album as a whole was inconsistent & could get boring... but, live in person, Corinne Bailey Rae was *incredible*. She plays her voice like a master instrumentalist -- she's got this seemingly intuitive, amazing control and timing. She also has a lot more power than you would guess from hearing her radio hits. In the studio recordings, her voice can sound maybe a little too precious. Live, it is more raw and complex. She plays around with her vocal timbre -- sounding sweet for moments, yes, but many notes are complemented by this raspy finish that lingers in its reluctant release of your chest. In a good way.

And the other cool thing about her as a performer is that her whole being smiles throughout her show. Not only her mouth, but her eyes twinkle, her skin glows... and it's actually not weird. You know those people that never stop smiling, even when what they're saying isn't worthy of this big grin - those awkward smiley people? That is not what I'm talking about. The way she smiles -- you get the sense that it's completely authentic - that it's the result of just completely surrendering to the inherent beauty in all *real* human emotion & experiences-- even the complicated and not-all-sunny ones.

You don't have to have the range of Mariah to be worthy of divahood.

If you ever have a chance, please see this woman live.

Here's a preview - not from our show at Tipitina's, but from an earlier show at Webster Hall:

No comments: