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Chrisette Michele and Guest Robert Glasper at the Blue Note

An NYC performance on Jan. 31 was a homecoming for vocalist Chrisette Michele in more ways than one. The Long Island native not only played to a packed house on the first of a two-night engagement at the Blue Note, but she also returned to her roots in terms of repertoire.

Michele and her band began with “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” and she maintained both intensity and control throughout the song, all the while injecting her signature trills into each “doo-ah.” Her deft, inspired scatting seemed to surprise the audience and even her rhythm section. The program continued with the Rodgers & Hart standard “Isn’t It Romantic,” and although a slower tempo might have better suited her signature “ohhhs,” the arrangement’s inclusion of flute effectively softened the overall feel.

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