Sarah Marie Young is a singular vocalist with a distinctive style and one of the brightest gems on the Chicago jazz scene. So, it was no surprise, that on March 27th in Winter’s Jazz Club’s intimate setting, she and her trio captivated the audience with their artistry and delighted them with their superb musicianship.
Young, who is also an immensely talented songwriter, stuck mostly to standards yet she interpreted them with her unique originality. On Billy Strayhorn’s moving and melancholic “Lush Life” Young’s haunting voice fluttered over pianist Stu Mindeman’s elegant and fluid chords. While bassist Andrew Vogt supported Young’s emotive and passionate rendition of Johnny Green’s “Body and Soul” with his crisp angular lines.
Young also demonstrated her virtuosity with an agile and thrilling acrobatic scatting on Ella Fitzgerald’s “Air Mail Special”. She even played a bit of ukulele on a spirited take of a João Gilberto compostion. Meanwhile Mindeman embellished the melodies with suave sophistication peppered with bluesy hints while Vogt expressed subtle lyricism as he performed his solos with dexterity and finesse.
Equal to the individual mastery and brilliance of each of the three musicians was the engaging synergy among them. The way the tunes flowed from one to the other crackled with spontaneity and fascinated with its warm and lilting poetry.
Young and her band simultaneously preserved the inherent beauty of these well-known songs and endowed them with a contemporary relevance. Their two inventive and enjoyable sets on March 27th 2018 made for a memorable and satisfying evening.