Nora York Tribute Concert @ Joe's Pub - New York City Article

Nora York Tribute Concert @ Joe's Pub

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Nora York Tribute Concert @ Joe's Pub

Oct 7, 2019

Nora York Tribute Concert
Joe’s Pub
425 Lafayette St
Monday October 7

Nora York, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2016, was sometimes described as a “jazz singer” but that was only at the insistence of inchworm-like nerds such as myself who couldn’t let her pass through our ears without affixing some sort of label on her - rather like a sticker on an apple, a metaphoric barcode for the age of information. Her music had a lot in it - folk, rock, classical, world, singer-songwriter pop - and she hardly ever played regular jazz clubs, but was a fixture in venues that championed eclecticism, especially Joe’s Pub. She also did two things uncommon in so-called jazz singers: she was especially skilled at recording, unlike most contemporary jazz singers, was just as good on albums as in person, and likewise, she was an expert songwriter herself. Thus, even though she left us at age 60, she stands to be well-remembered both through her songs and through her albums, like What I Want, Alchemy, and Swoon. Her interpretations of contemporary pop songs - don’t you dare call them “covers!” - like “It’s Only Love,” “All Shook Up,” “Nothing Compares 2 U,” and “Ruby Tuesday” (my favorite version ever), were also no less strikingly original than her own “originals.” This tribute show is organized by her collaborator, producer and pianist Jamie Lawrence, and features her long-standing band (including drummer Peter Grant and guitarist Jack Broza along with bassist Dave “The Legend” Hofstra), and guest vocalists Charlie Giordano, Sherryl Marshall, MuMu, Keziah John-Paul, Jodi Valentin, Fletcher, Jelani Alladin, and others.

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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)