Personnel: Lea DeLaria (vocals); Seamus Blake (saxophone, tenor saxophone); Stefon Harris (vibraphone, marimba); Christian McBride (bass guitar); Bill Stewart (drums); Adam Rogers (guitar); Gil Goldstein (accordion, piano, Fender Rhodes piano, keyboards); Bill Hayes (glass armonica); Bashiri Johnson (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Ken Freeman.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (11/2002); KFP Studios, New York, NY (11/2002); Sear Sound Studios, New York, NY (11/2002).
Photographer: Melanie Nissen.
Arrangers: Gil Goldstein; Whitney Ashe; Mary Ann McSweeney.
A classicist in the guise of a punk iconoclast, comedienne and Broadway star Lea DeLaria delivers a wry mix of contemporary pop and rock tunes -- all done in a straight-ahead jazz style -- on Double Standards. For jazz fans who decry the death of American Popular Song, Double Standards should be a revelation, as DeLaria has picked a varied set of songs by such iconic artists as Neil Young, Green Day, and even Jane's Addiction that wouldn't sound at all out of place in an intimate jazz club. With a burnished, velvety voice that often recalls a mix of Blossom Dearie and Carmen McRae, DeLaria is perfectly suited to a modern jazz setting. To these ends, she turns Blondie's "Call Me" into a slinky, minor '60s ballad; converts No Doubt's "I'm Just a Girl" into a peppy uptempo swinger perfect for Ella Fitzgerald; and stretches Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun" into an epic, meditative modal ballad that sounds like Nina Simone covering a John Coltrane ballad. Adding a post-bop elegance to the proceedings are saxophonist Seamus Blake, pianist Gil Goldstein, bassist Christian McBride, drummer Bill Stewart, and others. ~ Matt Collar
JazzTimes (p.136) - "Sharp as a tack and as tartly intoxicating as a mint julep, DeLaria is, in terms of post-millennial sass and smarts, the vocal equivalent of a lightning rod."