MICHELLE WILLSON – LIVE AT SCULLERS – FORTUNE COOKIE – REVIEW BY A.J.WACHTEL
Live at Scullers- Fortune Cookie
EVIL GAL RECORDS
By A.J. Wachtel
I was at this show and reviewed it for The Noise a few months back and now I am thrilled to hear it in my living room. Michelle has a passionate, emotional and big voice; and her set on this live CD is a mixture of Dinah Washington, Ruth Brown, Abbey Lincoln, Etta James and even a bit of early Ray Charles. Her jump blues/swing sound is unique on the scene and her band, including Zac Casher on drums, bassist Sven Larson, guitarist Mike Mele and Shinichi Otsu on piano and Scott Shetler on reeds is just plain incredible. Listen to them play Dinah’s “Relax Max”, “Stranger On The Earth”, and “New New Blowtop Blues”. Hear the horn in “Fat Daddy”. Listen to the great piano in my favorite cut on the disc “Hallelujah, I Love Him So” (a very early Ray Charles cover). Listen to how the vocals and the horn play with each other on the title cut “Fortune Cookie”; a song written by the two provocateurs themselves, Willson and Shetler. A lot of the songs have short intros by Michelle as she explains their importance to her to the packed house. Check out “Racehorse” as the band plays a few measures of Western T.V. shows theme songs including “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza”. Great stuff.