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Double Standards

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Album Review

A classicist in the guise of a punk iconoclast, comedienne and Broadway star Lea DeLaria delivers a wry mix of contemporary pop and rock tunes — all done in a straight-ahead jazz style — on Double Standards. For jazz fans who decry the death of American Popular Song, Double Standards should be a revelation, as DeLaria has picked a varied set of songs by such iconic artists as Neil Young, Green Day, and even Jane's Addiction that wouldn't sound at all out of place in an intimate jazz club. With a burnished, velvety voice that often recalls a mix of Blossom Dearie and Carmen McRae, DeLaria is perfectly suited to a modern jazz setting. To these ends, she turns Blondie's "Call Me" into a slinky, minor '60s ballad; converts No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl" into a peppy uptempo swinger perfect for Ella Fitzgerald; and stretches Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" into an epic, meditative modal ballad that sounds like Nina Simone covering a John Coltrane ballad. Adding a post-bop elegance to the proceedings are saxophonist Seamus Blake, pianist Gil Goldstein, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Bill Stewart, and others.

Biography

Born: 23 May 1958 in Belleville, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Lea DeLaria has been a professional lesbian for over 10 years, earning a living with her comedy and singing routines. She helped to create San Francisco's Gay Comedy Nights and New York's People Who Are Funny That Way and has uproariously emceed open mics, festival stages, and Gay Pride rallies across the nation,...
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Double Standards, Lea DeLaria
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