May 1997

Baby Jane Dexter
Big, Bad & Blue: Live!
Quannacut

For her huge voice, bluesy bawdiness, and visceral, tale-telling vocal style, Baby Jane Dexter has been compared to Bette Midler. Similarities don't end there. They both launched their careers in seedy venues-Midler, in the bath houses; Baby Jane in a New York strip club.

Born to a white upper-middle-class Long Island family, Dexter displayed talent at a young age. By the 1970s, the big woman with the big voice was headlining at top Manhattan cabarets, captivating fans with her emotional intensity, wacky wit, broad repertoire, and gospel-shout delivery. Then she took a ten-year hiatus.

Now B.J.'s back with Big, Bad & Blue: Live!, a powerfully fresh, 15-tune performance live-recorded in 1993 at N.Y.C.'s Greenwich Village cabaret, Eighty-Eight's. Superbly accompanied by pianist/arranger Ross Patterson, Dexter conveys life's pain and glee in gems such as Abbey Lincoln's "Painted Lady," Thomas Dorsey's "I'm Going to Live the Life I Sing About In My Song," Eric Hanson's "Big Body Woman," in humorous ditties such as "One Meatball" and "Dirty Man," and in bluesy Arlen and Ellington classics.

Baby Jane Dexter is an unconventional artist whose larger-than-life, blues-opera show is utterly irresistible.

Originally published in May 1997
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