Roseanna Vitro at The Birdland Theater - New York City Article

Roseanna Vitro at The Birdland Theater

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Roseanna Vitro at The Birdland Theater

Sep 12, 2018

Roseanna Vitro
The Birdland Theater
315 W 44th Street, (212) 581-3080
Thursday September 13 through Saturday September 15

Somewhat ironically, Ms. Vitro’s great strength as a jazz artist is her openness to and aptitude for non-jazz influences. The veteran Arkansas-born vocalist has, on every one of her 14 albums, shown a propensity for eclecticism - drawing on a wide range of songs and sources from well beyond the jazz tradition - and that’s even back in the long ago days of the 1980s, well before this was an acceptable or a commonplace idea. (You’ve got to hand it to someone who can give equal time to Ray Charles, Bill Evans, Steve Allen, Randy Newman, and the comparatively lesser-known jazz composer Clare Fisher.) Her latest, Tell Me The Truth, continues to surprise, with personal, well-thought-out interpretations of country songs (“Walkin’ After Midnight”), folk music (“I’ll Fly Away,” for which she’s joined by Cindy Scott and the luminescent Kate McGarry), and the only thing that counts as a song that we would typically expect to hear a jazz singer do is “Foolin’ Myself” (from the Billie Holiday songbook). My personal favorite is Mose Allison’s “Your Mind is On Vacation,” delivered with enough chutzpah and dry humor to make me hope her next project will be a full length songbook of Old Man Mose. Her musical mind is indeed working overtime.

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Author: Will Friedwald
Photography by: STEPHEN SOROKOFF

Author: Will Friedwald

Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.

New Books:

THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP VOCAL ALBUMS (Pantheon Books / Random House, November 2017)