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Performance Reviews

THE SECRET IS OUT!

It was New Year’s Eve so to mark the occasion I decided on a new dining experience for the evening. The restaurant of choice - downtown Boise, Idaho’s prestigious dining destination, Chandlers – Prime Steaks & Fine Seafood where they claim to serve up not only world-class cuisine, but world-class, live, jazz entertainment. I was going to find out if that was a verifiable claim.

Upon entering the upscale establishment my senses were immediately taken in by the classic blue lighting reminiscent of a 1950’s supper-club. The hum of a few dozen friendly conversations, the clinking of glasses and cutlery all created the perfect ambience for the relaxing festive experience I was seeking for the occasion.

The stimulating visuals and aromas of the rich interior of Chandler’s were about to be equally matched by the evening’s entertainment.

The moment the hand-picked vocalist began delivering her golden tones on the haunting ballad, “Round Midnight”, I knew my ears were to be treated this evening to a quality of jazz artistry I had not in my lifetime, experienced. At least not live.

It was as though I was hearing the embodiment of the legendary voices of Ella Fitzgerald, Nancy Wilson and June Christy rolled into one classy silky-smooth voice. With her impeccable diction, intonation, diverse tonal colors and phrasing Rebecca Hardiman could definitely hold a candle to the hall-of-fame of jazz pioneers.

Lucky diners and staff alike were treated to Rebecca’s variety of jazz standards selected for the evening from a Sinatra-esque compilation. With impressive sophistication, Rebecca scatted her way through her up-tempo version of, “That’s All”, then with the versatility of a seasoned pro began swinging to, “Come Fly With Me”, each piece delivered with Rebecca’s natural sense of a song’s narrative.

After my New Year’s Eve “Jazz Experience” with Rebecca Hardiman and her top-notch jazz band, I overheard perhaps the highest compliment if not the most accurate one by the bassist, Wade Short, who was Dione Warwick’s bassist and musical director in Los Angeles for 40 years, “In all my years in Los Angeles, I never heard a jazz singer as good as you - who could do it all....scatting, stylizing, phrasing, and ballads - all extremely well."

Hat’s off to, Rebecca Hardiman – jazz vocalist; no longer the best kept secret in jazz - because I could never keep a good secret! 

Written by columnist, Ella Olson, Independent Reviews.