This commentary will appear in "ALL ABOUT JAZZ" under his column with a few others under, 'When Lights Go Out". All Rights Reserved © 2006
By Joe Lanza
Saturday night at the VC was one experience I'm compelled to share with you, and maybe a better understanding and appreciation of Jazz Music will result.
JAZZ LADY OF L.A.
How do we define JAZZ? What I see and hear in clubs and hear on the radio sometimes defies defining. What the jazz FM spins as Jazz is often the cacophonous sounds of various musical instruments blowing unmelodious annoying hot air. To start with, music of any type needs a melodic line that the rest of the composition can expand on. Without the melodic line, the auditor has no way of following the musical fantasy, the vicarious experience evaporates just as it evaporates in a story with a weak contradicting plot or a no-plot story. Without melody, which is the heart and soul of a composition, then the horn tooting and the key banging is a symphonic cacophony, and for some who enjoy pure instrumental sounds for their thick ear drums that seems to be OK, but let us not call non-melodic compositions Jazz or music! So how do we begin to define a true Jazz singer? I found the answer last Night at the Vintage Cafe' dubbed by Cath Garcia Segal as, "this room is a hidden treasure!". I had heard about this entrepreneur/singer/vocal coach for over a year but last night, Cath's performance to a full house at the VC gave me the definitive definition of a Jazz Singer. With only guitarist Jeff Richman accompanying her, Cath filled in the rest of the missing instruments with her melodious vocalizations ranging the gamut of human sounds in harmony and in contrapuntal variations, turning a duo into a symphonic orchestra. Her lyrics became elongated melodious euphonies and always with the rich tone and quality that pleases the brain. After the performance I asked Cath, as a vocal coach, what she looked for in a singer? And her critique was that, 'I don't like most singers. They don't have the feeling of honesty in their delivery; they lack a good tone and sing with an unnatural voice, it's a type of falsetto.' And having listened to Cath's three hour performance at the VC, I was charmed by her comfortable unhurried delivery without all the superficial physical animated choreography that other singer's sorrily demonstrate; Cath just sat and sent out her Loralie sounds that lured this mate onto the rocky shore of mesmerized submission... I'm coming back. Uncle Joe