Stella Heath - The Billie Holiday Project
Billie Holiday didn’t just change the course of jazz singing. The iconic vocalist reconfigured the music itself with performances that transformed pop songs into soul-revealing emotional x-rays. Stella Heath and her quintet are keenly aware of Holiday’s less-is-more aesthetic, and her voice can eerily call Lady Day to mind even as she puts her own stamp on the timeless material. Featuring some of the Bay Area’s top jazz musicians, Heath’s Billie Holiday Project conjures the crackling electricity that Lady Day brought to intimate 1930s nightclubs. The Band features Stella Heath, invoking the vocal stylings of Billie Holiday; Neil Fontano, piano virtuoso from Sonoma County; Robby Elfman, rich and inventive on tenor saxophone and clarinet; Trevor Kinsel, interchanging between upright bass and cornet; and Spike Klein on the drum kit.