Saturday, January 16, 2010

Heidi Schmidt at D'Vine Wine

"God bless the Child."

Local musical artist, Heidi Schmidt, performed at D'Vine Wine (1660 Champa) tonight in downtown Denver from 6:00-to after 9:00 PM. Heidi played acoustic guitar and sang, and was supported by Peter Taylor on acoustic guitar and Jeremiah Johnson on tenor saxophone.

Since I arrived before anyone I knew, I was able to sit and simply listen for most of my time there (7:45-9:00), while sipping a good and reasonably-priced glass of wine. The combo graced us with jazz standards, such as "Summer time" (which I requested), "God Bless the Child," and others. At first, the instrumentation struck me as a bit odd and improbable for jazz. Yes, the jazz trio is a staple of the music, but it usually is comprised of piano, bass, drums; or bass, guitar, piano; or organ, drums, and guitar; or (rarely) saxophone, bass, drums (you need a killer saxophonist to make that work: think Sonny Rollins back in the 1950s). But two acoustic guitars, vocals, and saxophone is an unlikely arrangement.

Or so I thought. Heidi often accompanied herself and Peter accompanied and soloed capably. Jeremiah soloed soulfully and did not overwhelm the guitars, which is a real possibility with the tenor, which John Coltrane called, "the power horn." I never missed bass or drums, because all flowed together so seemlessly and beautifully.

Heidi (I met her, so I suppose I can keep using her first name) has a warm and expressive pressence without being a poser. She has a strong and supple voice and is a very good guitarist as well. I don't know of too many female jazz vocalists who accompany themselves on acoustic guitar. In fact, I cannot think of any. The show-stopper was "God Bless the Child," a Billie Holiday centerpiece, which is often performed, but rarely performed well, since it requires a vocal and emotional range that few can touch. Heidi (and her saxophonist) touched it. They reached deep and found gold.

This is jazz!


  1. Next time I'm in Denver, we simply MUST go here.
    Dang...miss the musing on jazz and philosophy over good vino!

  2. Is the same Heidi as this one?

    If yes, the world is really small.

    The girl in this clip stayed a while in my town.

  3. Vasile:

    This is the same woman! She spent quite a few years in Romania!