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Sfraga Sfings Afgain!

Though hardly a household name along the lines of Julie London or The Manhattan Transfer, this New York singer Barbara Sfraga is how do the kids say it somethin’ else. But Not For Her are the codependent "my man’s a real creep but, gosh, I’m glad he’s mine" clichés that have historically defined/plagued female jazz singers since the advent of the record. This lady blazes her own path. On her thus-far lone CD Oh What A Thrill (Naxos Jazz) she reinvents Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls Of Fire" as a sultry-yet-apocalyptic torch song, and she tackles songs by writers as disparate as Gil Scott-Heron, Angela Bofill, Bob Dylan and Lerner & Lowe. Her supple, womanly tones (no little-girl-lost jive here) express focused commitment to The Song, never losing sight of a the lyrics and their possibilities. Ms. Sfraga wails with her band as an equal participant, all the while conveying Betty Carter sophistication, Sheila Jordan gentle, wistful insouciance, Joni Mitchell suppleness, Janis Joplin bodacious and Anita O’Day’s voice-as-instrumentality. She melds the standard "Angel Eyes" and Cream's "Sunshine Of Your Love" into a sumptuous thrill-ride, taking the songs and the listener to parts of town you thought you’d never seen before. And now she’s on her way to my new hometown of Chicago if you're in the vicinity, see below for the coordinates on catching Sfraga do her thing in a natural (that’s to say, live) setting.

THREE ARTS CULTURAL CENTER
Wednesday, September 25th
sets @ 6:30PM and 7:30PM
1300 North Dearborn Pky., Chicago
312-944-6250
with...
John McLean, guitar
Marlene Rosenberg, bass
Kevin Patrick, drums
*****
POPS for CHAMPAGNE - CHICAGO
Friday, September 27th
9:00 PM to 1:00AM
2934 North Sheffield Avenue, Chicago
773-472-1000
with...
David Onderdonk, guitar
Jack Zara, bass
Kevin Patrick, drums
*****
POPS - HIGHWOOD
Saturday, September 28th
8:30 PM to 12:30AM
847-266-1313
with...
John McLean, guitar
Marlene Rosenberg, bass
Kevin Patrick, drums
*****
GREEN DOLPHIN STREET
Sunday, September 29th
8:00 PM to 12:00AM
1250 West Westgate Terrace, Chicago
773-395-0066
with...
John McLean, guitar
Marlene Rosenberg, bass
*****
HOTHOUSE:
Wednesday, October 2nd
sets: 8:00PM and 9:15PM
31 E. Balbo, Chicago
312-362-9707
with...
John McLean, guitar
Chris Sullivan, bass
Paul Wertico, drums
Kevin Patrick, percussion

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Barbara Sfraga
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