Live at Chan's

Rebecca Parris

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Live at Chan's Review

by Alex Henderson

It's unfortunate that Rebecca Parris hasn't done more live recording, for the jazz singer really soars on Live at Chan's. Unless you frequent jazz-friendly venues in New England, you've probably never heard of Chan's, a Chinese restaurant in Woonsocket, RI that started booking jazz artists in the '70s and was still doing so decades later. It was in 1985 that the Bostonian recorded this excellent album, which finds her joined by an acoustic sextet and swinging hard and passionately on Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk," Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'," and Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning to See the Light." Equally appealing are introspective versions of Hoagy Carmichael's "Georgia on My Mind" and Jobim's "How Insensitive." The biggest surprise on the album, however, is "Angel Eyes," which is usually heard as a ballad but gets an unlikely midtempo interpretation from Parris. Those who love straight-ahead jazz singing should make a point of obtaining Live at Chan's, which came out as an LP in 1985 and was reissued on CD in 1998.

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