Musical journey begins when Finch takes flight

People who enjoy hearing a good song well sung are encouraged to come down to the Elks’ home on Sixth Street this Thursday at 7:30pm to enjoy a musical journey with Joanna Finch’s Band.

People who enjoy hearing a good song well sung are encouraged to come down to the Elks’ home on Sixth Street this Thursday at 7:30pm to enjoy a musical journey with Joanna Finch’s Band.

The band features Jim Lambert on guitars, Tim Croft on upright bass and Aaron Amar on drums. Tim and Aaron, although both relatively new to the Valley, are both well known and respected musicians thanks to their several previous guest appearances on the Elks’ stage.

Jim Lambert exudes panache for gypsy jazz and blues of the 30s; his clean and expressive finger picking is thrilling. Jimmy is equally at home with searing blues solos and tender Latin flourishes. Mostly self taught, he has explored classical and jazz guitar and has a flourish for early blues. He and Joanna share an interest in experimental music and additionally, Jim has collaborated with improvisational artists at Joe’s garage and Hermann’s Jazz Club in Victoria.

Joanna will be combining songs of her own composition with well known songs from Tin Pan Alley to the present, and will demonstrate her sinuous vocal ability by presenting an interesting trip through some well-loved and lesser-known jazz and blues of the last century, including the blithely trenchant Send Me To The ’Lectric Chair by Bessie Smith in 1927;  the saucy 1929 Fats Waller tune, Honeysuckle Rose and Careless Love, a traditional song of unknown origins made famous by everyone from Bessie Smith to Elvis, Bob Dylan and Madeleine Peroux.

Finch’s chronology continues through the ’30s with hopeful tunes like Pennies From Heaven and Peggy Lee’s ’40s melancholy classic Waitin’ For the Train To Come In and the 1943 Cole Porter standard You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To.

In 1956. the Fever of Peggy Lee and Sinatra fame brought a very different style from the earlier eras; and Joanna intends to show how the sound of jazz is an ever evolving art form. Just as jazz DJs are currently remixing the standards that birthed the baby boomers, so Thursday’s performance will illustrate new interpretations and arrangements of long-established songs.

As well, Finch is particularly comfortable with the sultry bossas of Brazilian composer Carlos Antonio Jobim, as will be shown with her renditions of ‘Corcovado’ and ‘One Note Samba’. 

“It’s a challenge to try to sing in the style of the era for me. I love the way Bessie Smith sings full out and how Peggy Lee has no vibrato — she conveys ennui so well.

“With this show we are attempting to move technique along with the styles of the era — Jim is a very flexible player — gorgeous voicings on the gypsy jazz and nice sense of  dynamic on the ballads,” says Finch, a songwriter whose sense of melody and sentiment have inspired her to write many memorable songs.

John Threlfal of Monday Magazine wrote: “Joanna’s sweet, sometimes breathy voice could be heard on a 1940’s bandstand…” Of Joanna’s recorded work Joseph Blake writes: “…expressive vocal’s on the singer’s stunning, eclectic debut. An impressive collection of wise, well-crafted songs brilliantly arranged…”

In The Arms of Morpheus CDs will be available on Thursday. For more information on how much more there is in store, visit www.joannafinch.com

Sunday Night jazz concert fans are reminded about the next concert on Feb. 27 when Monik Nordine’s quartet Departure takes the Elks’ stage at 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be on sale this Thursday, as well as at Bop City and Play It Again Music Recycle. Prices are $12 and $16 for Society members and non-members respectively.

For more information about coming events, visit www.georgiastraightjazz.com.

— Georgia Straight Jazz Society