Sept 13, 2023
Libby York Quartet
Winter’s Jazz Club
465 N. McClurg Court
Sets at 7:30 & 9:30 pm
DREAMLAND RECEIVES 4-1/2 STARS **** FROM DOWNBEAT
Is it damning with faint praise to say that this is grown-up jazz? Too much female jazz singing seems to slide from Betty Boop pyrotechnics straight into “Gloomy Sunday” croaking with out much happening in between.
The lovely thing about Libby York is that she seems like an adult artist without letting responsibilities weigh down joyousness and pleasure in the song. York knows that her responsibility is to the song, and on material as potentially arch as “Rhode Island Is Famous For You” or the trickier “This Happy Madness” she delivers the lines with an almost discursive straightforwardness that enhances rather than deadening the impact.
She’s picked a remarkably good crew for this latest sail out into the bay. Randy Napoleon, who helps with production, has a sophisticated touch but never drifts into that “lounge” style that overtakes pianists charged with accompanying cool singers, and York is in the line of June Christy and Chris Connor.
Whitaker, who has a lot to do on the drummer-less tracks, is a model of tasteful restraint, while Hall, when he comes in on “Throw It Away,” generates maximum impact by not being there from the start.
York’s voice is in splendid shape, but it’s the vigor and judgement of her storytelling that makes this one rather special. She’s worked relatively quiet passage up till now, but unlike those singers who, to vary the image, go up like a rocket and come down like the stick, she’s pacing herself beautifully.
A Neon Jazz Interview with Acclaimed Jazz Singer Libby York
4 stars **** Downbeat Sunday in New York
“a gifted and experienced singer whose warm tone and sharp sense of humor bolster her artistry.” The New Yorker
“a jazz singer of cool composure and artful subtlety.” New York Times
View this livestream now on YouTube. And check out Libby’s critically acclaimed recordings on Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Apple Music, etc.
“Memoir,” Libby York’s most recent recording, is a telling reflection of a gifted and experienced singer whose subtle manner may have kept her from greater popular acclaim. A warm tone and a sharp sense of humor bolster her restrained artistry. The New Yorker
For Chicago jazz singer Libby York, many chapters and many songs
Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune
Libby York, who will be appearing this week at the Jazz Showcase, is Chicago born and bred and has carried this town with her across the globe and through the years. “Why would I ever want to shake my roots?” she says. “When I sing, I bring all of my life experiences to a song and that includes Chicago, which is always home.”
Libby York releases “Memoir” to rave reviews
“…a jazz singer of cool composure and artful subtlety…” Nate Chinen, New York Times
“…relaxed perfection…” C. Michael Bailey, All About Jazz
“…her wit and easy swing.” The New Yorker
“Her smokey voice will appeal to Diana Krall fans, but she is very much her own woman.” The Times of London
“Every so often a CD comes along that seems to have everything you want. Tunes and lyrics by the grand craftsmen of Tin Pan Alley, instrumental breaks by sympathetic musicians, and a singer who can interpret the GAsbook in the vocal traditions created by such as Ella, Peggy, Billie, Anita, Frank etc and yet retain his/her individuality. This is just such a disc!” Lance, Bebop Spoken Here>27 Live,
“There are a lot of wonderful female vocalists on the scene today, and one of the best is LIBBY YORK.” Joe Lang, JerseyJazz
“They left the audience at the Kitano wanting more, but surely grateful for the memories.” Roark Littlefield, Stage Buddy
“Libby York is a fine singer, arranger and band leader. Her rapport with the group is so engagingly palpable you’ll wish you were in the studio absorbing their musically vibrant and positive energy live.” Eric Harabadian, Jazz Inside Magazine
“… every inch Diana Krall’s equal …warm, intimate and imbued with a fogbound sexiness.” Christopher Louden, JazzTimes
“It’s hard to imagine a voice more suited to classic jazz standards than that of Libby York.” Roark Littlefielfd, Stage Buddy
“With ‘Thanks for the Memories’, the Chicago-born chanteuse has really taken ownership of this classic, and I hope it will remain one of her standards. She sings it like no one else, with all schmaltz and bonhomie long gone. What is left is a delightful, unabashedly wistful private moment with an old lover…she dazzles” Roark Littlefielfd, Stage Buddy
Libby York’s latest CD “Memoir” is receiving raves from jazz press worldwide. This is the fourth release from the native Chicagoan, following an auspicious Blujazz recording debut with her CD, “Sunday in New York.” John McDonough of Downbeat Magazine has awarded the recording 4 stars and says, ”Stylish and cosmopolitan, with a broad streak of lush life urbanity, Libby York has a sound that recalls, without any condescension or gratuitous nostalgia, the slightly world weary, been around the block ennui of post war Anita O’Day, Chris Connor, and Sarah Vaughn.”
Chicago jazz radio personality Neil Tesser intones in his liner notes to the CD, “York finds the complicated emotional center of a lyric, and sets it out with disarming simplicity.” Gary Walker, the Music Director of WBGO, arguably the nation’s foremost jazz station, remarked, “‘Sunday in New York or anytime, anywhere, Libby York’s voice leads outstanding musicians on new paths through the jazz evergreens.”
Past performances include:
Kitano New York
The Green Mill Chicago
Jazz Showcase Chicago
The Vic LA
Cafe Laurent Paris
“Memoir” named in the Top 10 by KCRW’s Bo Leibowitz