When Ernestine Anderson recently appeared at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York City, it was a revelation for those who consider themselves fans of the veteran jazz singer. The latest incarnation of a singer we’ve been listening to for decades is even more tightly focused, delivering every song with exactly what is needed, nothing more and certainly nothing less.
Some critics feel that Anderson has the widest emotional range of any jazz singer in the world. She is one of those rare talents who can transform any standard tune into a flurry of communicative staccato attacks and then, in a flash, sing a beautiful ballad with all of the demure innocence of a church deacon singing a devotional song. Equally known for his versatility and for consummate musicianship is Anderson’s disc-mate, tenor saxophone master Houston Person. Together they render a program of great standards and imbue them with a lifetime of experience, wisdom and intimacy that penetrates to not only the very heart of the song, but to the essence of music itself.