The Rat Pack met the Brat Pack as ’80s film star and Concord Jazz recording artist Molly Ringwald took her audience to some less-visited selections from the Great American Songbook. It was apparent right off the bat that the still-smoking-hot 45-year-old knew how to deliver the evening’s fare. She got to the bottom of a lyric’s meaning and context.
Although she has a perfectly suited voice for the genre, it was her body language and engagement with the audience that lifted each vocal delivery to a higher level. Besides the eclectic song selection, Ringwald didn’t shy away from vocally challenging numbers such as Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain” and Leigh & Coleman’s “You Fascinate Me So.”
Led by musical director Peter Smith on piano, her band featured a strong selection of L.A. jazz veterans. Saxophonist Allen Mezquida’s performance was reminiscent of the “soft reed” style of Stan Getz. Bassist Trevor Ware employed a bow and some vocal accompaniment to his own soloing. And drummer Clayton Cameron didn’t miss a beat. The performance made the venue feel incredibly intimate, and I could think of no better way to enjoy some of the rarer gems of American jazz. ★★★★☆