It Happened One Night

CD Cover Holly Cole
Alert Music

Review by Gary 'pigboy' Swartz

45-second excerpt from "Que Sera Sera" (351 Kb .au file)

This album is a treat. All the more so because it's a live recording. Which means no second, third or umpteenth chance to get something right. Vocalist Holly Cole and her accompanists -- Aaron Davis on piano, David Piltch on acoustic bass, Kevin Breit on guitar and Dougie Bowne on drums -- get it right the first time. Overall performance, choice of material, musicianship, focus. Yes focus. Where jazz so often seems like some kind of esoteric musical ritual for the initiate, and to hell with the rest, there's an inclusiveness to this offering, a sense that the audience is an important part of the experience, and, please, enjoy.

There's also a overwhelming sense of artistic self-confidence, a willingness on Cole's part to bring her own distinctive interpretation not only to the compositions of icons like Cole Porter ("Get Out of Town"), but to the works of an iconoclasts like Tom Waits ("Train Song" and "Tango Til They're Sore"). Kudos are certainly due anyone who can take a chestnut like "Que Sera Sera," doubtlessly a favourite on karaoke playlists around town, and give it a 'que sera' where it was least expected.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on January 11, 1997

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