Madeleine Peyroux recorded at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival England 2013-05-02 - stereo upgrade, broadcast on BBC Radio 2 stereo FM
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The Cheltenham Jazz festival celebrates its 17th year, nestled on the outskirts of the Cotswold�s this majestic town provides a platform for International acts encompassing the disciplines of Jazz, Blues, Gospel and all things creative. Covered by the BBC, there is an air of musical quality about the place, accompanied by the delicious aroma of varied cuisines from the surrounding food stalls. Of course, there is the traditional West Country cider, but be warned that if you drink too much Henry Weston�s 8% Proof it invites the brain to engage the voice box and causes the average Joe to believe he can sing like a bird.
Few singers have the capability to carry the sounds of their voices as if an instrument, Madeleine Peyroux has this rare talent, carrying it off masterfully, opening her Cheltenham Thursday Big Top act with the classic Rose/Heath composition �Take These Chains�. With her hands out in front, not playing her guitar, the Peyroux voice plays out the verse �Take these tears� placing a crescendo effect on every syllable, displaying her inner passion for this music with her every facial expression. Next up is a self penned song �Don�t Wait Too Long�, from her second album of 2004, Careless Love, for which Madeline picks up her trusty acoustic guitar and dryly says her Hello�s to Cheltenham �here in Southern England� putting her audience totally at ease, joking along �What an honor to have more people in the audience than on the stage�.
A brighter stage backdrop lights up a cool drumming rhythm by Darren Beckett for another track on the new album The Blue Room, �Bye Bye Love�, a tune made popular in the fifties by the Everly Brothers. For the fourth number, �Don�t Know Me� Madeline ditches her guitar, which she did on several numbers, knowing that the vocal needed complete concentration.
Madeline continued her dry sense of humour pulling out some surprising introductions: �I have three types of songs; Love Songs, Blues Songs and Drinking Songs�. Slipping nicely into a beguiling performance of Randy Newman�s �Guilty� accompanied by her string quartet, featuring a cello, viola and two violins. Madeleine explains that her drinking songs, in turn, lead to apology songs, the greatest example of which being �Changing All Those Changes�, originally written and sung by Buddy Holly. This rendition drew focus to the massive double bass of Barak Mori, which in standing directly behind Madeline, overshadowed her and left her looking like a young girl twirling her sash scarf, singing effortlessly using her hands, her heart and her head in joyous abandon.
Haunting strings introduced �Bird on The Wire� written by Leonard Cohen, causing the entire Big Top tent to seemingly hold its breath for an entire five minutes as it would have been possible to hear a pin drop. However, that parallel does not give Peyroux credit for this performance, she simply nailed it. �I saw a beggar leaning on his wooden crutch, he said to me you should not ask for so much, and a pretty woman leaning in her door, she cried to me, why not ask for more?. Like a Bird on a wire, in my way, I have tried in my way to be free�
The Hammond B3 kicks in as the band cover the Ray Charles classic �I Can�t Stop Loving You�. These Ray Charles songs are revisited by Madeleine on her new release by Decca Records, �The Blue Room� which is an incredible story of vision by her friend and producer, Larry Klein, about which you can read in our album review section.
Before introducing �Desperadoes Under The Eaves� Madeleine declared �It is an honour singing songs to a captive audience in a way which they may not have heard them before�. Clearly, that is what makes her tick. �If you have not heard the works of Warren Zevon then I suggest you do�. The astute vocal and string performance even has Madeleine imitating the hum of the motel air conditioning, humming for what seemed like an age.
Following an upbeat full band rendition of �I Hear Music�, Madeleine quipped �That is one of my Happy Songs, I think I have one more� but first she slipped back into melancholy mood with a Frankie Brown number �Born To Lose�, which, as she explains, was first covered 50 years ago by Ray Charles, now being part of the new Blue Room project.
The final curtain draws to a close as that other missing happy song �Instead� climbs out of Madeline�s box of tricks. A jolly little number self written for her 2009 album �Barebones� which made it big time in Japan and consequently famously goes along �Instead of feeling bad be glad you got somewhere to go, instead of feeling sad be happy you�re not all alone, instead of feeling low get high on everything you love, instead of wastin� time feel good �bout what you are dreaming of���.
As this was technically an outside performance the Big Top lights came on at 10pm, so there could be no encore, instead the audience departed from the red and yellow Cheltenham Big Top feelin� good and not going to The Blue Room.
Contrast clause - this stereo recording is an upgrade to http://www.dimeadozen.org/torrents-details.php?id=449450 which is a mono only.
Broadcast on BBC Radio 2 2013-05-06.
02 Take These Chains
04 Don�t Wait Too Long
05 Bye Bye Love
06 Don�t Know Me
10 Changing All Those Changes
11 Bird on The Wire
13 I Can�t Stop Loving You
15 Desperadoes Under The Eaves
17 I Hear Music
19 Born To Lose