POMPIE’S PLACE: The ebullient Arthur “Pompie” Pomposello’s Pop-Up Blues Club at Pangea is a must-see experience for music lovers, one and all. The combination of vitality and sophistication that animates the best blues is on glorious display here.
Tanya Holt‘s voice is a mesmerizing instrument that calls to mind no less a titan than Billie Holiday— if, that is, Ms. Holiday’s voice had not been ravaged through years of substance abuse. Ms.Holt’s interpretative facility is enhanced by a “baby girl” quality, fully under control, that swoops, insinuates, and strategically emphasizes phrases that elicit new meanings and dimensions of songs that you may have often heard before, like “Ill Wind,” but which you have never heard interpreted like this.
Lezlie Harrison‘s classically rich, powerhouse contralto recalls Sarah Vaughan in its flexibility and daring forays into the lower register — only to emerge, with the melodic precision of a true master vocalist, onto the melody proper.
The Harrison/Holt duets revitalized old chestnuts like “After You’ve Gone,” “Mood Indigo,” and “Blues in the Night.” This duo has not been on Broadway, but that’s Broadway’s loss.
In addition to the singers, what elevated this show so far above most of what passes for blues these days, are the musical director, Ehud Asherie, on piano and the redoubtable Ken Peplowski on clarinet—who showed that you don’t need stacks of amplifiers to play great blues. Subtle, always supportive of the singers, these consummate masters demonstrated the interconnections between jazz and blues — and showed how each idiom profits from an awareness of the stylistic characteristics of its joined-at-the-hip brother. [Editor’s Note: In Mr. Peplowski’s absence on the remaining date of August 10, Jon-Erik Kelso will be on trumpet.]
The trip up the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Chicago was never so enjoyable.
For now, this run has one performance currently scheduled: August 10 at 7:30 P.M. The music charge is $30 with a $20 food and drink minimum. Click the link below to buy tickets:www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2570622
See the NiteLife Exchange VIDEO INTERVIEW with Tanya Holt: www.nitelifeexchange.com/tanya-holt-joins-the-cast-of-pompies-place-an-interview-with-jonathan-shade/ ….and other related Pangea pieces!
Pangea is located at 178 Second Avenue (between East 11th & 12th Streets).
For more information on this show, see www.pompiesplace.com.