Concert review: Madeleine Peyroux

Her mellow voice, sassy stage presence and top flight sidemen place her in a class of her own.

November 12, 2012 22:05
1 minute read.
Madeleine Peyroux concert.

Madeleine Peyroux concert 370. (photo credit: Yossi Harsonski)


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Madeleine Peyroux
Reading 3, November 11

Madeleine Peyroux has often been compared to jazz singers from Billie Holiday down. Well after listening to her at Tel Aviv’s Reading 3 club on Sunday night, I believe the new kids on the block are going to have to measure themselves against her.

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Her mellow voice, sassy stage presence and top flight sidemen place her in a class of her own. She mesmerized a hip audience who responded to her unique interpretations of well known songs such as Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” and less well known items of her own composition with equal enthusiasm.

She has filled out somewhat since her last visit to Tel Aviv, but this has perhaps has lent even greater depth to her multi-timbered voice. She seemed more comfortable with the laid-back atmosphere at Reading, compared to her previous Tel Aviv venue, the large and imposing Opera House auditorium, which attracted a mostly middle-aged audience who had come to attend one of the regular “Jazz at the Opera” series.

Her Israeli fan base has obviously expanded and and it was clear that the crowd at Reading was familiar with her work and had come specifically to hear her. The place was packed to capacity, with standing room only for an overflow audience. Her disks sold briskly after the show.

Peyroux is an accomplished composer and sang several songs from her latest album, Standing on the Rooftop, which comprises mostly her own original material.

Her CDs feature low-key jazz with a thoughtful, haunting quality. However, on Sunday she burst onto the stage in full voice backed by a driving quartet of accomplished jazzmen – Jon Herington, guitar, Gary Versace, keyboard, Barak Mori, bass and Darren Beckett – all of whom accompanied her on her previous visit.

Peyroux invited top Israeli jazzman Avishai Cohen to to join her in several songs and his trumpet paralleled her voice in compelling duos. Mori, her bassist, is Israeli and when she invited leading local saxophonist Eli Dejibri to jam with them in the final song “Careless Love,” the crowd roared its appreciation.

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