Saturday, October 11, 2008

Paula West at SF Performances

This evening Paula West gave a wonderful performance as she and George Mesterhazy Quartet played superbly. It was a rare and gratifying evening of music. Even Paula's mistakes were forgiven as she practiced songs on her San Francisco audience the band will be performing in New York next week at a month-long engagement at the Aquanlin Hotel.

With clear diction and phrasing West made the old standards new, her training coupled with ?'s fine ear for arrangement. There were songs I didn't because I'd never heard them from the beginning. I guess some singers jump right into the song, and by-pass the important preludes and other preamble.

Give me a pig foot...I always thought this song began there--nope! And there were others arranged so creatively by Mesterhazy. At times I could barely recognize some songs until West was way into it...a delightful aspect of the evening which meant it was full of surprises.

She introduced most songs from the stage and while I'm good, at times I can't decipher my writing when the lights come up. Friday night, was one such evening.
As West made frequent eye-contract with Mesterhazy, I wondered how she and the quartet met, how she's managing to stay true to her voice and aspirations when this band is flying high. But enough of my cynicism. The ensemble functioned as a unit--tight most of the time--and certainly having fun and this is ultimately what West said in our earlier interview--life is all about!

After the set West met friends in the lobby...who fawned over Dizzy--I believe this is what her dog's name is. The puppy was so cute and friendly, bestowing kisses on everyone. He is going on the road too.


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