Wednesday, August 20, 2008
As some of my previous entries indicate, I am fan of the Hollywood Bowl. I could see just about any live performance at the Bowl. In this way, the Bowl has broadened my musical horizons. My trips to the Bowl have made me a fan of artists that I would not have otherwise listened to. This is the case with tonight’s performance.
Jordana had asked me several weeks prior if I wanted to go see Jamie Cullum at the Bowl. I heard the Hollywood Bowl part of the question and said, “sure”. The name of the headliner was familiar, but off the top of my head I couldn’t name any of his songs. She sounded excited so I thought perhaps it would be worth the trip.
Rob got called into work. So, I attended the performance sans husband. Jordana was also sans husband. I took the shuttle from the zoo and met Jordana and some of her friends from college. I arrived a tad bit late and I didn’t get a chance to met the whole group or take any pics. From what I could tell, there were about 10 people in the group.
I brought a small array of fruit, cheese, white wine and a unbelievable amount of bread. No Rob means small spread. No one was interested in the Vouvray that I brought. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I ended up drinking almost the entire bottle by myself, which made the opening acts survivable.
Elizabeth Shepard opened. Her performance was solid. Although, I felt as though she was more folksy Sarah MacLachlan-ish than Jazz. We didn’t have many people sitting nearby. This allowed our group to ignore the performance and chat incessantly. I guess poor Elizabeth Shepard wasn’t compelling enough for our group.
Next up was the Christian McBride Situation. Sadly, this performance made me feel as though I was trapped at a Smooth Jazz show. (I got hoodwinked into seeing Boney James several years ago and it was painful. Talk about horrible performances!) I was seriously beginning to reconsider my treatise that anything sounds good at the Bowl. This set was blissfully short and the wine was really working its magic.
Finally, Jamie Cullum came on stage. He was a lot younger than I expected. Oddly enough, this evening was his 29th birthday. He brought wit and vitality to his performance. It didn’t hurt that he was accompanied by the oh-so-wonderful Count Basie Orchestra. He sang Cole Porter standards with the panache of Harry Connick and was more genuine than his contemporary the soulless Michael Bublé. As an added twist, he covered some songs from other genres ala David Byrne. My only complaint is that I ran out of wine and his set was too short.
For your viewing pleasure, here are some of video I captured of the performance. The quality is surprisingly decent considering I used my Casio Point-and-Shoot to capture it.