The Indigo Jazz Club at the Compton Lazben Hotel is now presenting--surprise!--jazz. With guitarist Kenny Burrell and singer Clea Bradford sharing the bill, the show is doubly delectable. It's a needed change of pace after last week's false start with Charmaine Neville.
Burrell has long been the epitome of fluency and taste. Whether stringing out imaginative lines on "Secret Love" or indulging in rich chordal sequences on "Autumn Leaves," he reflects many influences while remaining his own man.
His sound is clean and clear, though when he switched to acoustic guitar for "My Ship" there were problems with the sound equipment. For those sitting close enough to ignore the mike, this graceful Kurt Weill melody took on a rejuvenated luster.
"Mood Indigo" was a particularly apt choice in view of the club's name and Burrell's decade-long tenure as teacher of Duke Ellington's music at UCLA. During the second chorus Clea Bradford joined him in a happy collaboration that continued through the set.
A tall, commanding presence, long absent from these parts--she now lives in Washington--Bradford moved seamlessly from smoky contralto tones to unexpected high-note finales. Her phrasing and use of dynamic contrasts are exceptional. She is, in effect, a human volume control.
The Burrell-Bradford partnership continues through Sunday.