Monday, October 3, 2011

The Amazing Music of Basia...in Concert!

Sunday I went to see Basia perform in concert at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert, CA. Basia has an amazing vocal range and has recorded some really excellent music that remains a staple in smooth jazz stations and home music collections. Her unique style of "cocktail style background jazz music" is great because it is pleasant enough to listen to alone, sing along or as background music that won't overtake a cocktail conversation. 

Her 'Time and Tide' album went Platinum and made her a true International recording star. I was living in Chicago when she first got "big" in the US. There was a great smooth Jazz station in Chicago at the time called WNUA 98.5 FM who played Basia constantly. Some of you might even recall her being a member of the band 'Matt Bianco'.

Born in Poland, she was raised in England and also lived in Chicago for awhile, her speaking voice has an interesting accent for sure. There is no mistaking her Polish roots; Basia's last name is nearly impossible for we Americans to pronounce: 'Trzetrzelewska' so it comes as no surprise why she only goes by her first name.
I recently stumbled on her new album, a live concert recording called “From Newport To London: Greatest Hits Live…And More.” It was co-produced by the Basia and her longtime collaborator and keyboardist Danny White (also a member of 'Matt Bianco'). "From Newport to London" includes her white-hot smooth jazz standards like 'Time And Tide,' Promises' and 'Cruising For Bruising.'

I was in Atlanta last week for work when I saw a Twitter feed about tickets being available for Basia's concert in the Palm Springs area, so I snapped up two tickets on the spot. I was so happy to have the opportunity to see her in concert, despite being a big fan I don't know why I never found a way to see her over all these years.

True fans of Basia will love her in concert, because her voice sounds exactly the same as her studio album voice. I really enjoyed her concert on Sunday, she was personable, friendly and so down to earth. She smiles easily and appears to genuinely love singing and her music. Basia is a master at the jazz samba rhythm sound. Beware of involuntary toe-tapping or swaying while attending her show. I even jumped up at one point and found myself swaying and clapping along to her singing. It was wonderful to be washed over by the wave of song, it made me smile both inside and out.

Basia sang virtually every one of her major hits and then some. She maintained great energy all night, particularly during some of her more difficult songs like "I Must" which features complex chords, very fast versus and broad vocal range. She handled it well, and then moved right into a ballad effortlessly. I can't say enough about Basia and how terrific she is to hear sing live. If you love smooth jazz music, check her out, and better still see her in concert. Find more information from her website BasiaSongs.com

Discography:
Basia
2011 From Newport to London
2009 It’s That Girl Again
1997 Clear Horizon
1995 Basia on Broadway
1994 Sweetest Illusion
1990 London, Warsaw, New York
1986 Time and Tide

Matt Bianco (featuring Basia)
2004 Matt's Mood
1984 Whose Side Are You On?

1 comment:

Lois said...

I had that album. Who didn't? I bet your toes were tapping. She's good.

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