The Thing We'll Do This Summer
Last Tuesday, several days before her meet-and-greet at Jazz On the Hill, Melissa Morgan proved an engaging harbinger of summer, with the first of her monthly engagements at the 7 MIle. They'll continue all summer, keeping things warm no matter how foggy things get. As with the best of vocalists, there's something familiar in the idols Melissa channels, and well as something unique in how she combines them, and how she presents herself. Listening to "It Might As Well Be Spring" (which it still was), I felt that her intonation of the Oscar Hammerstein lyric, in bossa mode, was so ingenuous, it might as well be scat. Her going a long, long way on "Our Love Is Here to Stay" seemed effortless, thanks to that feral purr in her tone. On perky numbers like "Sometimes I'm Happy", Melissa affects a sensuous yelp which, for me, is rather evocative of the youthful Billie Holiday. The sophisticated pacing of the sets was handsomely maintained by her trio, featuring Larry Chinn's sparkling arpeggios, Greg Wyser-Pratte's articulate drumming, and John Wiitala's lyrical, tasteful bass work. Melissa's gonna have the world on a string, so make sure you're part of it: her next 7 Mile gig will be June 28th.