"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!