A CD Release Event:
Sherri Roberts, vocals & Bliss Rodriguez, piano
Sherri and Bliss will be featuring songs from their new recording Lovely Days, an intimate, emotionally incisive celebration of the American Songbook’s infrequently turned backpages. Due out January 15 on the Blue House/Pacific Coast Jazz labels, Lovely Days has already begun to garner attention. All About Jazz says,“Roberts and Rodriguez have created a recording that's at once both intimate and wholly open... their chemistry is evident from the get-go on this delightful duo date.”
Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 4pm
$12 - To reserve tickets with your credit card, please call (510) 547-8188
“Stylistically, Roberts bears a significant resemblance to gin ’n’ satin seductress Julie London. But where London’s voice was distant as a winter moon, Roberts’ is all dappled sunshine. . . shimmering delicacy. . . Enchanting.”
Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
“Rodriguez proves to be the most gracious and effective accompanist of recent memory.”
C.Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
On her three previous albums, San Francisco vocalist Sherri Roberts collaborated with jazz masters like Phil Woods, Chris Potter, Lew Soloff, and bassist Harvie S, who also presided as producer/arranger for the highly-regarded small-group sessions. Roberts takes a different tack on Lovely Days, her fourth album as a leader. On the new CD she chose to work in a duo setting with Bliss Rodriguez, a brilliant but little-documented pianist who, like Roberts, has been a Bay Area resident since the 1980s.
The CD takes its title from the opening medley of Irving Berlin’s “It’s a Lovely Day Today” and “Isn’t It a Lovely Day.” Roberts and Rodriguez also put their stamp on Harold Arlen’s “Hit the Road to Dreamland,” Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “We Kiss in a Shadow,” Dave Frishberg’s “Our Love Rolls On,” and, from The Fantasticks, “Soon It’s Gonna Rain.”
Roberts and Rodriguez structure their sets as equal partners. “Too many vocal-piano efforts come with the caveat of having too much in the vocal department and not enough in the piano area, but that's not the case here; Rodriguez gets his due and provides the perfect settings within which Roberts can work her magic,” observes Dan Bilawsky in All About Jazz.
A leading torchbearer for the less-is-more school of jazz singing, Roberts has listened closely to understated vocalists like Shirley Horn, Irene Kral, and Chet Baker. “Sherri consistently demonstrates her deep understanding of lyric and nuance,” says bassist and frequent creative partner Harvie S. With S at the helm on bass, she recorded three acclaimed albums: two for Brownstone Records, Twilight World (1996) and Dreamsville (1998), with The Sky Could Send You on Pacific Coast Jazz following in 2006. “She’s a breath of fresh air,” exclaimed Kirk Silsbee of Los Angeles City Beat... “Pure and unaffected.”
Bliss Rodriguez was born in New York City in 1945 to parents from the Dominican Republic. Blind since the age of 17, Rodriguez studied at Juilliard and graduated from the Mannes College of Music, then earned his Master’s in performance and composition from SUNY’s Harpur College at Binghamton. He spent much of the 1970s in Houston, performing with rising star vocalist Roseanna Vitro, and worked on the New York and Los Angeles scenes before settling in San Francisco in 1986. Here in the Bay Area he’s worked with leading local jazz figures like vocalists Laurie Antonioli and Robin Gregory, trumpeter Graham Bruce, and bassist Ron Crotty, an original member of the Dave Brubeck trio and quartet.
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