Patricia Barber has been in the vanguard of the new school of female jazz vocalists who in the past several decades have been exploring intriguing improvisational terrain beyond classic balladry and bop-infused standards. She was born in a suburb of Chicago to a saxophone-playing father, Floyd "Shim" Barber, who had played with Glenn Miller. After studying classical piano and psychology at the University of Iowa, Barber moved back to Chicago to play jazz and in 1984 landed the gig that launched her career, playing five nights a week at the famed Gold Star Sardine Bar. Before long there were lines outside the door on weekends. Her following grew larger and more fanatical when, in 1994, she moved her base of operations to the Green Mill, the north side club that is the nerve center of the indigenous Chicago jazz scene.
This record, a collection of jazz standards made partly at the request of her mother, was planned by Barber for over ten years but held. "It was important to me that I try and establish my own sound, my own music, before I did a record of standards. With 'modern cool' I felt I had done that," says Barber. Nightclub benefits from the long incubation period. Barber is a seasoned performer of classic jazz material. Highlights include her stunning version of "Yesterdays," the rarely recorded vocal version of "Invitation" and her version of Alfie, which features guitarist Charlie Hunter.
Musicians: Patricia Barber, piano, vocal; Michael Arnopol, bass (5, 9, 10); Adam Cruz, drums (4, 5, 6, 8, 9); Charlie Hunter, 8-string guitar (4, 6, 11); Marc Johnson, bass (1, 2, 3, 7, 8); and Adam Nussbaum, drums (1, 2, 3, 7, 8).