Mad about the girl

The girl in that case is China Moses, who gave her first concert yesterday in the small room at the Auditorio Nacional in Madrid. She started with some repertoire from her Dinah Washington tribute record and Dinah was more or less the theme of the evening – as she proceeded to perform new material for an album to be released in September – and the songs  for this record were selected with Dinah in mind – either from singers who influenced her or were influenced by her. Bessie Smith, Esther Phillips, Billie Holiday and Nina Simone are just some of the names popping up through the night.

The material is carefully chosen and fit China’s voice perfectly, the arrangements by her pianist Raphael Lemonnier are truly done with respect for the original and are powerful were needed, emotional when requested and always stylish. His arrangement for Nat Adderley’s Work Song (a song Nina Simone used to sing) is simply great – keeps the power of the instrumental original, but adds the emotion of the lyrics and the performance by China was absolutely amazing. Supported by the incredible Raphael and her bassist Fabien Marcoz, whom she sang a funny Happy Birthday, and drummer Jean-Pierre Derouard, China had a great time on stage and the audience seemed to love every minute of it.

It is very entertaining how China introduces the songs, makes the choices understandable and personal and then performs them as if they were hers …..

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The band and herself were visibly moved by the great reception they got from the Spanish audience, which truly got mad about the girl.

Mum would have been proud of her daughter !

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