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Paint it Pink-Grammy Winning Vocalist Lisa Fisher and Grand Baton Live at Yoshi’s OaklandPublished on Sunday, 26 April 2015 08:53
Lisa Fischer takes her time with a song.
By Shelah Moody
Photo by Michael K. Ealey
One of the most accomplished vocalists of her time, the ebullient soprano will often begin the melody softly, holding onto a note and then releasing it with a bang into the universe.
It is no surprise that Fisher, backed by the eclectic trio Grand Baton, featuring French composer Jean-Christophe Maillard, (musical director, arranger, guitar, SazBass, backing vocals) Thierry Arpino (drums and percussion) and Aidan Carroll, bass, backing vocals) pulled off six sold out shows at Yoshi’s nightclub in Oakland (April 9-11).
Lisa Fisher is an unsung heroine of the music industry and perhaps one of the best known backing vocalists of all time; she has toured extensively with the Rolling Stones, Luther Vandross and others.
In 1992, Fischer won the Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her stirring tale of lost and found love, “How Can I Ease the Pain,” produced by the Bay Area’s own Narada Michael Walden. This year, Fischer again earned Grammy gold for “Best Music Film” as a featured artist Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers’ documentary “20 Feet from Stardom.”
Live at Yoshi’s on closing night, Fisher was a far cry from the temptress that you see on YouTube, belting out the chorus of “Gimme Shelter” with Mick Jagger or engaging in sensual embrace with Keith Richards. Ms. Fisher had traded about five pounds of hair for a short natural, her mini-skirt for bohemian chic. The audience seemed to love every bit of her quirky, earthy, persona and laughed with her as she paused the show to re-apply lipstick (eh hem, Christian Dior Lip Baume, which the lady prefers in pale pink or coral), take a swig of water and acknowledge a devoted fan for bringing her flowers on opening night.
Side note: In 2009, I had the pleasure of meeting the divine Ms. Fisher at Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, at “Let the Sunshine In,” a benefit concert for a young Oakland musician, Christopher Rodriguez, who had been hit and paralyzed by a stray bullet. In the company of artists such as Mary Wilson, Earl Klugh, and Shanice, Ms. Fisher was impressively gracious with those who approached her.
Now back to Yoshi’s: Fisher incorporated jazz, blues, gospel, rock and roll into her 90 minute set, which included Maillard’s ethereal, unplugged arrangement of “How Can I Ease the Pain,” Peggy Lee’s “Fever” and a tribute to the Rolling Stones, including “It’s Only Rock n Roll” and “Satisfaction” and Robert Palmer’s eighties hit, “Addicted to Love.” By the end of the show, it was clear that her solo version the Stone’s “Gimme Shelter” could become one of her signature tunes. Maillard provided the new age style vocals and gentle guitar riffs as Fischer caressed Jagger’s haunting refrain “Love can be a kiss away.”
For upcoming shows at Yoshi’s, visit www.yoshis.com.
For Lisa Fischer lisafischermusic.com.
“Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story,” Makes its San Francisco Debut at the “Cry of Jazz” Film SeriesPublished on Thursday, 09 April 2015 05:43
Story and Photos by Shelah Moody
Who: Executive Producers N.C. Heikin, James Egan award winning mystery writer Michael Connelly and acclaimed jazz artist Ed Reed
What: “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story,” part of the “Cry of Jazz Film Series
When: 7: 30 p.m., Thursday April 9 and Saturday, April 11
Where: Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 701 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94103
Info: http://www.ybca.org/programs/upcoming/film-and-video, Tel: 415-978-2700
Acclaimed documentary “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story” makes its San Francisco debut at the “Cry of Jazz” Film series, presented by Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Unsung hero, Frank Morgan, whose life and career were interrupted due to struggles with drug addiction and repeated incarceration (December 23, 1933 – December 14, 2007), is considered one of the most influential jazz saxophonists of his time.
Produced by James Egan and acclaimed mystery writer Michael Connelly (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) and scripted by director N.C. Heikin and Connelly, “Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan” made its debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June, 2014. “Sound of Redemption” ((2014, 84 min, digital) features interviews, historical footage and stellar performances by jazz greats Ron Carter (bass) Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone), Grace Kelly (sax) and George Gables (piano). See trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKyfGi2MtIQ.
N.C. Heikin, Grace Kelly, Angela Morgan White, Michael Connelly and the cast of a Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story
Frank Morgan’s family members, including stepmother Florette Morgan and sister Angela Morgan White share their personal memories and provides rare personal insight into the life of the brilliant and troubled jazz icon, who spent much of his life in San Quentin prison in Northern California.
“The fact that someone could spend many years of their adult life incarcerated and still have the passion and the desire to play music at a high level, and the ability to articulate and the ability to execute the music at a high level into their sixties and their seventies was a remarkable feat,” said acclaimed producer and arranger Delfeayo Marsalis, who played with Frank Morgan and directed the tribute concert at San Quentin in 2012. “It’s one of those tragic stories that has redemption at the end.”
“Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story” Schedule:
Thu., Apr. 9, Post-Show Q&A
With executive producer Michael Connelly (author of the Harry Bosch novels), director N.C. Heikin, and jazz artist Ed Reed.
Sat. Apr. 11, Post-Show Q&A
With director N.C. Heikin, producer James Egan, and jazz artist Ed Reed.
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