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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 3, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 49
A Dyke About Town: Greta Matassa and friends launch Christmas in a jazzy way
Arts & Entertainment
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A Dyke About Town: Greta Matassa and friends launch Christmas in a jazzy way

by Mercy Moosemuzzle - SGN Contributing Writer

Greta Matassa
Mercy and Cuteness very much enjoyed Greta Matassa's CD release party at the Triple Door on November 29. The crowd was sparse, but enthusiastic. The album, And to All a Good Night, has fine music on it.

The evening started with Jenny Lind and six members of her family harmonizing beautifully on 'The Bell That Couldn't Ring.' Cuteness appreciated Lind's silver shiny high heels. The band was tight. Darren Clevendin's piano was hot, Clifford Anderson's bass was knowing, Mark Iveston's drums were right on, and Susan Pascal's vibes were cool.

Greta then sang a song Blossom Dearie made famous, 'Christmas Love Song.' Her voice was delicious. 'It's Christmas' featured piano and vibes.

Clifford Anderson, the bass player, is also the producer of the CD. He also sang solo on 'The First Snow Fall' with just his lovely voice. Allie and Grace, Mark Iveson's cute daughters with sweet voices, joined Matassa for 'When Can I Find Christmas.' The girls did a duet of 'Santa Baby' that was fun.

Then they left, and Greta soloed nicely on 'Christmas Day' featuring Anderson on bass and Clevindin on piano. Clifford sang 'Count My Blessings.' When Jenny Lind came out again, Matassa said the two of them had worked quite a bit doing ad work. The strangest one they ever did was one for Ernst, where they had to sing while eating popcorn,

Lind's strong voice rang out in 'I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas.' Matassa did a fine duet of 'Baby It's Cold Outside' with Anderson. Clifford started to imitate Louis Armstrong, so Greta did Ella Fitzgerald. Matassa said, 'Even though we are a jazz band, we are going to do a medley of Carpenter's songs.' She had a fresh take on 'It's Christmas Time' and 'Sleep Well, Little Children.'

Clifford and Greta did a duet of 'I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.' The piano solo that went with that was so beautiful, an audience member said, 'Yeah!' Mercy agreed.

Matassa continued with the theme from the animated movie The Snowman, 'Walking on Air.' 'Bravo!' a woman called out. Mercy also agreed with her. A Johnny Mathis ballad followed, 'Christmas Time Again.'

Clifford Sang 'November in the Snow,' with a fantastic piano solo. Greta sang two Henry Mancini songs, 'Every Christmas Eve' and 'Giving.' Jenny Lind came to the stage again for 'Christmas Time is Here.' Allie and Grace joined Greta for 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.' The girls sang 'Silent Night' while Greta sang 'This Child is Born.'

Matassa's daughter, Gina, joined them all for a jazzy 'Jingle Bells.' Greta closed, making the case for 'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.'

The Reluctant Daughter
Mercy has been very much enjoying Leslea Newman's novel The Reluctant Daughter. The story follows Lesbian women's studies professor Lydia Pinkowitz's troubled relationship with her highly critical mother. The dynamics change when the mother becomes critically ill. The writing is excellent. Lydia's long-term relationship is well described. The details of her growing up, her current academic life, and the hospital her mother spend time in are all lovingly detailed.

Béla Fleck
Mercy is really looking forward to seeing Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, featuring Alash, at Jazz Alley December 9 to 12. Band members are Béla Fleck (banjo), Victor Wooton (bass), Futureman (synthaxe drumitar), Jeff Coffin (horns and woodwinds), and Alash (Tuvan throat singer). Fleck is widely acknowledged as one of the world's most innovative and technically proficient banjo players.

You can get your tickets at jazzalley.com.

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