You've Got to Learn (Live)

You've Got to Learn (Live)

This unearthed headlining set from the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival is timeless, but also very much of its time. It’s a civil rights cri de coeur, most explicitly in the case of the famed “Mississippi Goddam”, which gets a laidback, swinging treatment here. It’s also a portrait of an artist who could appear on a bill with John Coltrane or James Brown, a jazz festival, a folk or blues confab—and tear the house down at every one. She can shift from a Charles Aznavour chanson (the title track) to the raw and poetic “Blues for Mama” and the rootsy stomp of “Be My Husband” in the space of a few minutes. Her marriage of classically influenced piano and searingly stark vocal performance is a genre of its own, brilliantly evinced in the show-stopping encore of Bart Howard’s “Music for Lovers”. Guitarist Rudy Stevenson, bassist Lisle Atkinson and drummer Bobby Hamilton offer tasty, scaled-down support that never gets in the way.

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