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Critic's Choice

Patricia Barber

Consider the beautifully inverted recording career of Patricia Barber. First she establishes herself as an innovative stylist and fearless fusioneer, flouting convention with cool-jazz treatments of pop/rock classics such as "Light My Fire" and "Black Magic Woman," upsetting expectation with mordant anthems-for-the-times like "If This Isn’t Jazz." Only then does the Chicago-based singer/pianist essay the classic-jazz repertoire. After she's made her bones as a deep-thinking revolutionist. After she’s captured a huge cult audience. Barber, who will make her first Denver-area appearance Sunday, November 12 at the Gothic Theatre, says her new Blue Note/Premonition CD, Nightclub, expresses her lifelong respect for tunes such as "Yesterdays" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily," and composers ranging from Cole Porter to Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Her lean, dynamic treatment of "Bye Bye Blackbird" would likely thrill Miles Davis. And when she envelops "Autumn Leaves" in her smoky, slithering glory of a voice, we understand anew why Barber’s postmodern cool so intrigues post-bop hipsters -- and almost everyone else.

 
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