Oh, what an evening!
Just Jazz/Ravi V. Chhabra
After quite a while, I savored an evening of enthralling vocal jazz. Monique Debose , crooner, a native of Los Angeles has been creating music all her life and its surely evident in her style and voice texture !
Performing at the Shangri La Hotel for all of 3 months (October-December), one unforgettable evening, she sang songs of jazz queen Ella Fitzgerald and transported the swaying aficionados to a nostalgic journey and recreated an era of jazz greats.
Accompanying her on the piano, Jason Flatley is a diehard Keith Jarret buff and compliments the vocal chords of Monique with gusto. Monique Debose's renditions comprised music influenced by Duke Ellington, John Coltrane and Ella Fitzgerald. Some of the songs she sang with finesse included 'You go to my head', 'Huneysuckle rose' and Can't help loving that man'.
Besides, other numbers from Bessie Smith's repertoire, some enthralling sentimental solos and a few great scat ones too. The evening cast a spell and one only thought, if anyone else can ever do jazz better than black Americans! Speaking with this critic, she said I am basically a self-taught musician and love the sound of Big Bands (Dixieland!). She likes India for its vitality and colors and finds spicy food delectable.
As for her plans in the coming weeks in Delhi, she informs with her charming smile, "I intend to go on a tour of old Delhi and learn some classical Indian music like ragas and I have short-listed a few teachers too". Monique found herself with no real guidelines for how she ought to be in the world because she wasn't black, nor was she white. For most of her life, she wasn't comfortable in her own skin.
With her debut album, "Choose the Experience," she's taking her own advice and expressing the life she's chosen by performing songs as a self-discovered beauty that knows who she is after all these years. Her songs are all unique stretching beyond any one genre of music and reflect various influences of jazz, soul, pop and rock.
Some of the prestigious places/nightclubs she has performed include: Paradiso, Amsterdam, Sugar Factory, Amsterdam, Roxy, Hollywood, CA ,House of Blues on Sunset, Hollywood, CA ,Conga Room, Los Angeles, CA ,Temple Bar, Santa Monica, CA ,Genghis Cohen, Los Angeles, CA and Gardenia Cabaret Club, Hollywood, CA. Come often and we would love to see some Indian classical musical influences in your next album.