If you visit the Green Mill jazz bar in Chicago, you'll probably learn two things. Fact No. 1: The notorious Al Capone once owned (and hung out at) the Green Mill. Fact No. 2: Patricia Barber is the best-kept secret in Chicago. An alluring vocalist who plays Hammond B-3 and piano with tasty precision, Barber has released three excellent albums before this, her major-label debut. On this special live recording conducted within the Green Mill's friendly confines, Barber and her band groove through modern standards (like Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On," Bill Withers' "Use Me" and that perennial blues-rock classic, "Black Magic Woman") with startling elegance. Adding her own compositions and often stretching performances beyond the five-minute mark, Barber establishes herself as a cunning jazz interpreter and a talented composer-bandleader. Embellishing the jazz bar's smoky ambience with her cool demeanor and silky-smooth vocal delivery, Barber proves that she has all the necessary qualities required of a modern-day jazz diva. Her seductively noirish moan-rap on "If This Isn't Jazz" is especially distinctive and compelling.
So if you can't visit the Green Mill, just purchase a copy of Companion (and tell the guy at the record store that Al sent you).
Mitch Myers writes about music for the Metro Times. E-mail email@example.com.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.
Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.