You can clown around with Cole Porter, mess about with Mercer or Mancini and reinterpret Rodgers and Hart to your heart’s content. But don’t dare fiddle with Kurt Weill. Such is, it seems, too often the misguided sentiment of those who opt to explore the Weill songbook. They treat his songs like priceless pieces of Dresden china, failing to appreciate that most were originally crafted as hardworking show tunes. Dee Dee Bridgewater-who, for my money, numbers among the few contemporary jazz singers with the sass and style to rival Fitzgerald, Vaughan or McRae-gets it.
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