Tonight’s “jazz picnic” Gathering was a good one — we even saw a shooting star. There were about ten of us, gathered on the grass at Levitt Pavilion in Pasadena. We brought food, we spread blankets and put out chairs, we had a great time and the music was even better than expected: Sony Holland has a liquidy-smooth sound that has focus and power, but also real flexibility — one song by Rufus Wainright, “Sanssouci” (also the title track on her new album, right), includes some wide-ranging, cross-register arpeggiation that really put the singer through her paces. It wasn’t quite perfect, but it was sublime. Her selections were diverse and cohesive, ranging from American standards to originals from the band to lush arrangements to a song setting of W.B. Yeats, written by the former first lady of France: Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is, after all, a chameleon, with apparent musical chops to boot. The concert was very good, and a good time was had by all.
The plan is to do more informal gatherings like this as the year moves forward. It’s a chance to meet other singers, put faces to names and share contact info, but it’s also a chance to get out of the grind of complicated lives and take a well-deserved breather. We’ve picked the dates for this year’s “Met Live” gatherings at our favorite theater in Alhambra (great parking, comfortable seats, food nearby, not too crowded!), and of course, the 10th Anniversary party is scheduled for December. Here are the upcoming Gathering dates as they stand now — we plan to add at least one in October, and a post-“Eastover” celebration in the spring, and will have more details on all as they get closer. Hope to see you there!
Nov 14 — Met Live in HD: Otello
Nov 28 — Met Live in HD: The Tempest
Dec 29 — Lauri’s List 10th Anniversary party
Feb 6 — Met Live in HD: Maria Stuarda
May 15 — Met Live in HD: Giulio Cesare