Paula West @ Mezzrow - New York City Article

Paula West @ Mezzrow

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Paula West @ Mezzrow

Oct 3, 2019

Paula West

With Ed Cherry (Guitar) and John Chin (Piano)
163 West 10th street
Friday October 4 & Saturday October 5

Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola
Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall
Broadway at 60th Street, 5th Floor
November 22-24

In the 2000’s, the San Francisco based Paula West was the most notable jazz singer to make her reputation (on the East Coast at least) at the Alonquin’s Oak Room - the now-legendary cabaret venue. Since the room, alas, closed in 2012, her appearances in New York haven’t been as regular as we would like them to be - which is why the promise of two nights in October and three in November is cause for celebration. Ms. West’s strengths are still the same, only stronger, not least of which is the ability to switch gears between such traditional jazz-and-cabaret fare as Rodgers and Hart (“Lover”) and more contemporary songsters, like John Lennon (“Gimme Some Truth”), while stopping at such iconclasts as Oscar Brown Jr. (“The Snake,” “Hum-Drum Blues”) along the way. A formidable swinger as well as a storyteller, she still delivers the most compelling interpretation of “Like a Rolling Stone” that I’ve ever heard, as well as of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “The Waters of March” - which, in her hands, is so soulful and powerful that it could be titled “The Ethel Waters of March.”

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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)