Lea DeLaria – Double Standards

Given the parlous state of contemporary jazz singing (Diana Krall? Elvis, how could you?), Lea DeLaria, a butch dyke from St Louis with a dirty mouth and a deliciously wicked sense of humour, is all the more remarkable. Growing up with jazz in her veins, she was previously best known as a comic (she's also been a Broadway star), but singing is clearly her vocation.

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Given the parlous state of contemporary jazz singing (Diana Krall? Elvis, how could you?), Lea DeLaria, a butch dyke from St Louis with a dirty mouth and a deliciously wicked sense of humour, is all the more remarkable. Growing up with jazz in her veins, she was previously best known as a comic (she’s also been a Broadway star), but singing is clearly her vocation. With wildly classy back-up that proves the high regard she’s held in by the jazz fraternity, she recasts Patti Smith’s “Dancing Barefoot” (intoxicating), Blondie’s “Call Me” (wildly sensuous), Neil Young’s “Philadelphia” (understated and heart-rending), Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing” (a riot) and others in the most supremely intelligent display of interpretive singing in jazz for years. Essential.

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