November: Looking back, looking ahead

CT Collage

Thanksgiving in Connecticut: a wintry lake, a cuddly dachshund, and cranberry sauce on the stove.

I suppose it’s in keeping with the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that I’m just sitting down now, in the second week of December, to write my November retrospective.  There was a lot of singing, a lot of laughter, and a lot of food (Thanksgiving was spent in a lakeside idyll in Connecticut).  There was also my second cold of the season, which I can only partially blame for the radio silence here.  Most of the blame for my absence from the blogosphere stems squarely from busy-ness and, truth be told, a bit of procrastination.

In any case, here I am, with a pictorial backward glance at November, which flew by at record speed.  Highlights last month included taping Song Travels with Michael Feinstein for NPR, singing at the Rainbow Room with the George Gee Swing Orchestra, and seeing my DownBeat feature in print!  DUCHESS made a few cameos around town singing with Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, Jane Monheit, and an all-star cast of singers at Will Friedwald’s Hugh Martin Centennial.

DownBeat Collage

Can this be real?! My “Players” feature in the December 2014 issue of DownBeat

NovemberSingingCollage

A few musical highlights from November. Top left: pianist Ehud Asherie and I had a ball taping “Song Travels” for NPR with Michael Feinstein; Top right: DUCHESS with Jane Monheit backstage at Birdland; Bottom photo: singing with the very swinging Joe Alterman trio at Greenwich House.

So far, December has been pretty hectic, but my husband and I did find time last week to trim the Christmas tree and sip some extremely potent rum-laced eggnog.  Looking ahead, I’ve got a solid week of daily Christmas gigs, and then it’s Hanukkah latkes, Christmas feasting, and (yes) more eggnog.

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Christmas has come to our corner of Brooklyn!

In November, I…
Blogged About: Very little.  I didn’t wind up writing at all for Ad Alta Voce (hangs head in shame), but I did contribute a post to the DUCHESS blog about all our recent guest appearances: We’re Good at Parties.

Watched: The Comeback.  Lisa Kudrow is so good in this HBO series.  I binge-watched the first season in just a few days, marveling at the show’s razor-sharp commentary on our reality-TV culture, as well as Kudrow’s ability to be simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking.  The show’s current season is just as funny, smart, and unexpectedly poignant as the first.

Read: Bon Appétit.  I received a subscription to this magazine as a gift last year and I look forward to every issue, but especially the holiday recipes.  I really want to make this rack of lamb or these veal shanks for New Year’s Eve dinner.

Listened to: Brasil, by Joao Gilberto (featuring Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, and Maria Bethania).  I stumbled upon this brief but gorgeous album by accident and it immediately went into constant rotation.  I love Brazilian singers’ intimate, conversational approach to singing, and this album is a study in melodic beauty and deep, deep groove.  These days, of course, it’s all Christmas music, all the time; a recent happy discovery is Ramsey Lewis’ 1961 recording, The Sound of Christmas.

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