Friday, October 12, 2012

Catherine Russell Wows Sold Out Crowd At Shanghai Jazz

The Catherine Russell Quartet
Catherine Russell
Catherine Russell

Catherine Russell

Matt Munisteri

Mark Shane
Lee Hudson

The first time I heard Catherine Russell's most recent CD, "Strictly Romancin" she became one of my favorite Jazz singers. As soon as I found out she was scheduled to perform at Shanghai Jazz in Madison, I called for a reservation. That was a good decision because Catherine's Friday night performance was standing-room-only.

This was the first time I heard Catherine Russell live and she exceeded all of my expectations!  Catherine is a five foot and change "Tower of Power". She has an unbelievably strong voice which is even more remarkable when you realize those great sounds are emanating from such a small lady. At tonight's performance she brought 3 of her regular, super-talented sidemen.  Catherine's musical director and arranger Matt Munisteri on guitar.  Lee Hudson was on bass and Mark Shane played piano. These three talented musicians provided Catherine with the perfect musical support for her voice and style.

According to Catherine, "I only sing songs that my personal life experience allows me to relate to". This is one of the reasons she is such a great singer and what I noticed when I first heard her most recent CD. When I reviewed this CD in my blog posted in December of 2011, I commented "These songs demand an emotional understanding of the story the lyric is telling and requires the singer to sing the story with style and clarity. I believe one needs to call upon past life experience to perform these songs in a way that can bring the listener in". The songs Catherine selects are not easy songs to sing but as a testimony to her great singing skills, she performs them with refreshing honesty and clarity.

Tonight's performance was also special for Martha Chang & David Niu, the proprietors of Shanghai Jazz.  Shanghai Jazz first opened on October 1, 1995 and they were celebrating their 17th year in business. The great thing about Shanghai Jazz is that in addition to being one of the premiere
Jazz destinations in the Northeast, this restaurant would be successful even without the great Jazz due to the great food and outstanding service.

It was announced that Catherine Russell agreed to perform on New Year's Eve at Shanghai Jazz as she did last year. My advice is to make your reservation now or you will be shut out as this event will sell out quickly.  You can call 973-822-2899 for a reservation or just visit their site,                                                                                      

1 comment:

  1. Looks like I am not the only one who loves the way Catherine Russell sings! Just heard an interview of Michael Feinstein where he was asked who his favorite current singers are? He answered K.D. Lang and Catherine Russell!


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