For the Bulletin
The Saturday night crowd at Studio 64 on October 15 rose in appreciation when the Laura Landsberg Quartet played its final number in what had been a beguiling performance of mainstream jazz and blues by this talented group of musicians. Landsberg herself held us entranced as she explored her huge vocal range in tongue-tripping scat singing improvisations and fresh and original renditions of old favourites à la Ella Fitzgerald and Cleo Laine. Having grown up in England where her father, jazz musician Ian McDougall, played in Cleo Laine’s husband, Johnny Dankworth’s band, perhaps it’s not surprising that Laura Landsberg recaptures the style and much of the repertoire of such great female jazz artists.
But to be successful, a vocalist needs a good backing band and this Landsberg certainly had. Her husband, jazz guitar virtuoso Paul Landsberg who, like Laura, teaches music at Selkirk College in Nelson, was on electric guitar, and two old favourites at Studio 64, bass player Doug Stephenson on upright bass and Tony Ferraro on drums, completed the ensemble. Stephenson’s solos were greeted with especial warmth by the audience and Ferraro’s few opportunities to let rip delighted the crowd. Both have appeared at Studio 64 with other artists over the past few years and have never failed to please. Both the Landsbergs were performing in Kimberley for the first time although, hailing from Nelson, they are pretty well known throughout the rest of the Kootenays. It is to be hoped that we’ll see them here again.
This was the second in this fall’s Live at Studio 64 jazz and blues concert series. The third and final concert in the series will see the 6L6s from Calgary bring their amped up version of Delta Blues to Studio 64 on November 19. Tickets for this concert can be purchased online at eastkootenaysnapd.com or at Centre 64 (250-427-4919).