Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lavay Smith and the Red Hot Skillet Lickers

The Dakota, 9/26/07: The International Diva of Swing and her band took their sweet time returning for their second set (scheduled for 9 p.m., they started at 10), then gave us an hour-plus of classic 1940s and '50s jazz and blues: songs made famous by Horace Silver, Billie Holiday, Bessie Smith, Ray Charles, and Dizzie Gillespie. The seven-piece band was solid and smooth. Lavay seemed to sleepwalk through the first several tunes, then opened up and knocked us silly for the final two: Bessie Smith's "I Need a Little Sugar in My Bowl" ("I need a little hot dog on my roll") and its odd successor (raunchy blues to gospel?), "Just a Closer Walk with Thee." We loved the tenor sax player, whose name we didn't catch.

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