Last night we caught a fiery, energetic and jazzy Erica Falls onstage at Sweet Lorraine's, our favorite Jazz Club.... more on both of them in a few.
In spite of the weather, I needed to wind down, and nothing clears my mind and relaxes my soul like listening and/or dancing to live music. So, after a productive, but tedious day stuck indoors editing video Saturday, I remembered that Erica Falls was onstage at Sweet Lorraine's. She had sent me a message on Facebook during the week to make sure we knew.
I'm sure that now that I'm writing about the performers, events and places we enjoy, Boo and I will receive more and more such personal invitations. And while I'm on this, I don't want any of the performers or places we love and have enjoyed recently to feel slighted, I'm just starting these reviews and decided to write going forward as we enjoy rather than trying to remember and write about the past. So we look forward to sharing our impressions as we continue to enjoy the great gifts and wonders of living in the Crescent City. All of our reviews are sent out like this one but are also available online anytime at www.CrescentCityLive.com.
Erica Falls is an interesting talent. She has a strong and versatile voice and if you enter at the beginning of a piece, you will hear a woman who can sing the hits... just like the hits: standards, classic R&B, or NeoSoul. The girl can do it just like the record, so you start getting your sing along together and then... off she goes into what I believe is the essence of an Erica Falls performance and what gives her a legitimate claim as a “jazz” singer. She goes off and does her thing, making new music, rifting, scatting and improvising the vocals in ways you may never have heard before creating a musical expression that is uniquely hers... you can dance to it all.
This duality in her performance, going from straight up to rearranged and improvised versions of very popular music is that kind of musical bridge that leads people who say they don't like jazz to a realization that they too enjoy the creative interpretations, the variations on a theme that is a defining characteristic of jazz music. While jazzy, there is nothing “cool” about an Erica Falls performance. Its high energy, she works hard and is engaging with her audience... but not a lot of that in between talking (which I can't stand) that reduces the amount of music in the set. We stayed for both sets...