2008 should be an exciting year for local jazz violinist Cathy Morris, who is a few schedule rearrangements away from a big break.
Let Morris tell the story: “I was finishing my gig at the Conrad when one of Patti LaBelle’s backup singers asked if I could play over, [because] Patti LaBelle is on her way down. I played my tune ‘Blue’ for her. Afterwards, she said, ‘I love the sound of your violin. I would love it if you would consider coming on tour with me.’ I excitedly said, ‘Yes, it would change my life.’”
Skip forward a few days: Dec. 29, Morris picks up a phone call at 2 a.m. and is surprised to hear the voice of LaBelle on the other line. The jazz great wants to fly Morris out to Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, N.J., so she might join her band for a New Year’s Eve performance.
In the end, Caesar’s Palace couldn’t make a scheduling adjustment in time for Morris to get on the billing. However, Morris is positive that she will be joining Patti LaBelle on some of her 2008 tour dates.
Catching up with Cherryl
On New Year’s Day, I received a late-night overseas call from former Indy resident and outstanding jazz vocalist Cherryl Hayes. Hayes is now a resident performer in Bangkok, Thailand. She informs me that, in addition to her Bangkok gig, she has been making circuit tours across the Pacific Rim with musicians such as Chris Botti, Nancy Wilson and Kenny G.
“The jazz scene is very active over here. They have built a new multilevel jazz club here called Nui,” Hayes says. The singer will be returning home this summer to celebrate her 60th birthday, see old friends and catch up on the local jazz scene.
Feliz cumpleaños, Antonio
January is the birthday month of a host of songwriters whose music is a part of the basic jazz repertoire.
Benny Golson: “Killer Joe,” “I Remember Clifford,” “Whisper Not”; Antonio Carlos Jobim: “Desifinado,” “One Note Samba,” “Girl From Ipanema”
James Van Heusen: “Here’s That Rainy Day,” “Like Someone In Love,” “Darn That Dream,” Polka Dots and Moonbeams”
Jerome Kern: “The Song Is You,” “All The Things You Are,” “The Way You Look Tonight”