“The first thing to be noticed is her voice. Madeleine Peyroux was quickly crowned with the neo-Billie Holiday label, but her earliest influence was Bessie Smith. Neither a show-off stylist nor a laid back crooner, “She sings as elegantly as Peggy Lee and writes with the downbeat clarity of Leonard Cohen.” (Mojo).
Madeleine Peyroux takes the stage at Three Stages next month.
Her career has been marked by gold-certified records (“Careless Love”), awards (Best International Jazz Artist at the 2007 BBC Jazz Awards) and splendid reviews (Time magazine greeted her debut album with a rave: “”the most exciting, involving vocal performance by a new singer this year”) but through it all, she has lost none of her compelling ability to reinvent a lyric and give it soul-shaking meaning, fueled by her nuanced vocal shadings and unforgettable voice.
Peyroux’s current recording, “Standing On the Rooftop,” was produced by Craig Street, best known for his work with k.d. lang, Norah Jones and Cassandra Wilson. Peyroux wrote solo as well as with a number of collaborators, including former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. The two met when he approached Peyroux at a jazz festival in Nice.
“He was at the festival to see B.B. King,” she recalled. “He said ‘I’m a fan of yours. I have all the records.’ And I was actually quite stunned.”
That meeting turned into their writing together in London for a week.
“I went to see him every day. We worked on a big handful on songs,” Peyroux said. “There were moments that were like, ‘I’m sitting here with a former Rolling Stone!’ when he was telling me stories, but he’s incredibly down to earth and humble and so very kind. He had a lot of tea, I had a lot of coffee.”
Their caffeine-fueled writing sessions yielded the deliciously funky “The Kind You Can’t Afford.” Other contributing artists to the recording include guitarist Mark Ribot, bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and legendary New Orleans pianist Allen Toussaint.
Three Stages Executive Director Dave Pier noted, “Whether performing other people’s material with style and the best of taste, or presenting her own thoughtful compositions, Madeleine Peyroux is a wonderful artist, and a fine choice for kicking off Three Stages’ program of jazz this season.” The performance is sponsored by Capital Public Radio.
Opening the concert is Rebecca Pidgeon, a singer-songwriter both “nuanced and assured” (Rolling Stone) and whose dual career as an actor includes several featured roles in husband David Mamet’s movies (“The Spanish Prisoner” and “Heist”).
Madeleine Peyroux with Rebecca Pidgeon will perform in Three Stages on Thurs, Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$35, Premium $45; students with ID $12. Tickets are available online at www.threestages.net or from Three Stages Ticket Office at (916) 608-6888 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Three Stages is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, facing East Bidwell Street.