BILLIE HOLIDAY AT CARNEGIE HALL
Wed 19th June at 7:30pm
Presents BILLIE HOLIDAY AT CARNEGIE HALL
Inspired by the legendary 1956 concert at which Billie’s music was accompanied by extracts from her autobiography ‘Lady Sings The Blues’, David McAlmont gives his unique interpretations of the Lady Day catalogue while quoting from her extraodinary life story, with a band led by pianist / MD Alex Webb. The show includes many of the most well-known Holiday songs, ranging – as did the Carnegie Hall concert – from the optimism of her 1930s work (What A Little Moonlight Can Do, Fine And Mellow) through her 1940s Torch songs (My Man, I Cover The Waterfront) to her self-penned classics Don’t Explain and Lady Sings The Blues – and many more.
Holiday’s memoir ‘Lady Sings The Blues’ remains a unique document. The New York Herald Tribune called it, ‘One of the most candid self-portraits ever painted on a typewriter’, and it retains the power to shock and intrigue more than half a century later.
Singer and songwriter David McAlmont, best-known for his collaborations with ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, has long had an interest in jazz, performing at a John Coltrane tribute concert at the Barbican and in 2004 releasing Set One: You Go to My Head, a collection of Cassandra Wilson and Betty Carter-inspired standards. He has also recorded with Courtney Pine, Michael Nyman and David Arnold. In 2016 he recorded the Alex Webb composition Me And My Crazy Ideas for the album Call Me Lucky by Alex Webb and the Copasetics.
Alex Webb is a songwriter, arranger and piano player; his songs have been recorded by jazz vocalists Liane Carroll, China Moses, Alexia Gardner, Mina Agossi and Alexander Stewart, among others. He has created a number of words-and-music productions, including the jazz history shows ‘Lush Life’ (about composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn), ‘Charlie Parker on Dial’ and ‘Cafe Society Swing’ (which has enjoyed two theatre runs in London and one in New York, where it was awarded the New York Times ‘Critic’s Pick’); he recently premiered a musical about Lena Horne, ‘Stormy’ written with writer/actress Camilla Beeput.