How good? Red HOT. Tonight's electric performance showcases how talented this woman and her band are. All of the music is tinged with jazz. Where else can you hear stunning versions of Dinah Washington's "Salty Pops," "A Stranger On Earth," and a killer "Blowtop"? And I mean killer. Scott Shetler is on horns, clarinet and mandolin on Spooner Oldham's "Life Rolls On." Mike Mele is on hollow body guitar, Shinichi Otsu on piano (reading charts!), Sven Larson on fretless bass,

and Zac Casher pounding back Michelle flawlessly through Ruth Brown covers of "I Would If Only I Could" and "Fat Daddy." I really dig "Willow Weep For Me" from a Marx Brothers movie "Love Happy," and the Ray Charles cover of "Hallelujah." Michelle announces, "This is the first song I've written in 10 years" before the band jumps into the title track . Her voice is very emotional and is at its best when it's sultry and powerful. Blues DJ Holly Harris announces the recorded performance and scribe Steve Morse is also in the audience preparing to write the liner notes for the new CD. A great night with a great band. I can't wait to hear tonight's performance again and again when Fortune Cookie is out and gets to meet my CD player.  

(A.J. Wachtel)

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June 2013 issue "The Noise" online at


Recording the live CD Fortune Cookie
Sculler's Jazz Club, Boston, MA

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