In another era, when musical overload and recorded abundance hadn’t so fragmented the listening public as to diminish the notion of shared tastes, a pitch-perfect performance such as Lianne La Havas’ at the Roxy on Friday night would have reverberated beyond West Hollywood.
La Havas is a British singer and electric guitarist with a range so broad as to render genre distinctions moot. She gigged the sold-out Sunset Strip club on a rainy night and offered a batch of songs that, from the first moment of her first song, “Au Cinema,” delivered on the promise of her soulful, mature debut album, “Is Your Love Big Enough?”
A timely opening theme in the film capital of the world, “Au Cinema” has a classic Stan Getz/João Gilberto feel to it, smooth without being easy, filled with understated drama and a warm, humming voice. “I wish that we could somehow freeze the frame,” she sang while dropping complicated guitar rhythms suggestive of Brazilian tropicalia, “but this isn’t the silver screen.”
Although La Havas is only 23, she projects an aged confidence while playing, even if the wonder in her eyes as she looked upon the tightly packed Roxy made her look like a schoolgirl. Hers is a music that over the course of 15 songs suggested a depth of influences, all of which magically combined to create something singularly La Havasian.