Linda Lee Michelet Big Band
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Linda Lee Michelet Big Band

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF

Portland, Oregon, United States | SELF
Band Jazz Jazz

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Oct
31
Linda Lee Michelet Big Band @ Wilf's @ Union Station

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Oct
27
Linda Lee Michelet Big Band @ The Heathman Hotel

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Oct
26
Linda Lee Michelet Big Band @ The Benson Hotel

Portland, Oregon, USA

Portland, Oregon, USA

Music

Press


Like the bubbles in a fine glass of champagne, she breezes throughout the room in constant motion, with personal touches of effervescence. These fleeting glimpses create a feeling of wonder, as if she’s singing just for you. But, as smoke is to a magician, one moment you see her and the next she materializes on the other side of the room. - Positively Entertainment


Many people think about reinventing themselves. Linda Lee Michelet did it. At an age when many consider retiring, she’s launched two new careers – including regular gigs singing her favorite music. - OPB TV's ArtBeat


Portland Online MusicNet reviewer Patrick Russell called Linda Michelet "Portland's own honey-voiced siren who will woo you with her voice." In 2003, looking like a mirror image of the famous singer, she sang Peggy Lee's most memorable songs and wowed a packed house.

Now Michelet brings to life the unmistakable pipes of Julie London; the sultry, sophisticated, suggestive chanteuse of the ‘40s and ‘50s, whose velvety song styling whispered of cocktails, candlelight and a cigarette. - Positively Entertainment


Consider just the past five or six years of Michelet’s life. Never mind that she switched day jobs, advancing from legal secretary to private investigator for TriMet. At age 61, Michelet also has evolved into a popular jazz singer whose sultry, playful covers of Peggy Lee songs draw crowds to Tony Starlight’s Supper Club & Lounge, the Heathman Hotel and other Portland music venues.

She’s had TV coverage on “Oregon Art Beat, ” airplay on KMHD jazz radio and write-ups in the local press. She performed this summer at the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival and the Bite of Oregon. She sang as guest vocalist during a summer concert by Portland’s legendary Woody Hite Big Band — “that was the ultimate for me,” she says.

How did all this happen? “I don’t know, I just don’t know,” she admits with a laugh.

“This could all go in the trash tomorrow, but for now I have to say I’m living in some kind of dream.” - Boom!


Michelet sang two sets of Peggy Lee tunes, backed by an eight-piece jazz band (at least two members of whom -- Tim Jensen on sax and Lars Campbell on trombone -- are also Portland Jazz Orchestra members). Michelet is still relatively new to performing, playing out for only a couple years or so, but she has a strong, expressive voice, well-suited to the kind of flirtatiousness in Lee's music. The torchier songs and the mid-tempo swing pieces both sounded great, and Michelet's love of the music was clear.... Michelet was always enjoyable, always personable, always a solid musician. - OregonLive & The Oregonian


Michelet dives into the '50s and '60s with a great sense of melody on this small big band disc. She takes the tunes of three great melodicists, Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson and Anita O'Day, and lovingly recreates them, keeping the tunes much as they were recorded originally, but with a tight, smaller band. Joe Millward's smart arrangements fit a smaller group - four horns and rhythm, plus some nicely placed strings. Michelet's buoyant voice is easy on the ears. Her delivery is warm, inviting and true to the melodies. The disc has a nice mix of standards — including a swinging, light Latin version of "Love for Sale" — and lesser-known tunes such as the playful "Boston Beans" and the cool swinger, "Never Will I Marry." Millward's arrangements make the group sound bigger than its parts, and sophisticated throughout. Solos are all spot on, including those by saxophonists David Evans and Pete Petersen, trumpeter Paul Mazzio and trombonist Lars Campbell. One flaw would be Michelet's scatting on "Four Brothers," which feels rushed. The rest is a refreshing retro take on some fine melodies.
2010, Eader's Bakery, 60 minutes. - Jazz Society of Oregon


It's easy to come away with the notion that a lot of love and care went into Linda Lee Michelet's new CD. Joe Millward's arrangements for both a sterling jazz ensemble and some subtle strings are perfect for Michelet's vocals. It's no secret that the singer admires some of the greats of the past, namely Peggy Lee, Anita O'Day, and Nancy Wilson, among others. And, Millward did some very cool research resulting in a complete recording history of each tune. Who sang it and when, album name and year, and accompanying artists. It's all here and it enhances Michelet's renditions of these great tunes.

I also like the fact that Michelet doesn't simply choose the "greatest hits" of these singers. Instead, in many cases, she reprises lesser known gems like Peggy Lee's One Kiss, New York City Blues, Things Are Swingin', Ridin' High, and Boston Beans. In the case of Nancy Wilson, it's Old Country, He's My Guy, and Never will I Marry.

Tenor great David Evans and trumpet/flugelhorn star Paul Mazzio are especially effective soloists, but it's Ms. Michelet's vocals that are tasty, bright, and breezy throughout. And, that's a lot of love.

— George Fendel,
- Jazz Society of Oregon


Discography

"One Kiss" Eaders Bakery Records
KMHD Jazz Radio Portland OR
SmoothJazz internet radio San Diego CA
KMUN Astoria OR
Mike Vitti Jazz FM, London
Skyjazz Internet Radio, Ontario, Canada
Morning Coffee Mix - JazzTop40Light Rock, Texas
Radio Swiss Jazz - Swiss Satellite Radio

Photos

Bio

A consummate entertainer, Linda Lee Michelet dazzles the room at her entrance, captivates with her voice, and engages each member of the audience, evoking the timeless jazz performances of Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson, Anita O'Day, and so many other female jazz icons.

She has received rave reviews from The Oregonian, The Portland Tribune, NW Jazz Profile, Portland Monthly Magazine, and has been featured in a cover story in More magazine. Her television appearances include segments on the nationally syndicated Better TV, and Oregon Public Broadcasting’s "artBeat". Band members have toured with Woody Herman, Stan Kenton and Harry James, as well as playing shows all over the country.