O Sister! at The Boswell Sisters: Their Music Goes Round an Round
The Band will participate in the Boswell Sister Tribute Festival with songs such as ‘Shout, Sister!,’ ‘Crazy People,’ ‘Cryin’ Blues’ or their unfinished ‘Yoo-dle-ee-oo-de-oo.’
O Sister! is a tribute to the North American popular music from the 1920s and 30s, and in particular, to the golden ages of “Dixie” and “Swing.” The Boswell Sisters, the band’s main artistic influence, were a groundbreaking female vocal jazz trio perhaps not as popular as they deserved to be, in spite of being imitated by many later vocal jazz groups and admired by artists as important as Ella Fitzgerald herself.
It was the surprisingly modern way, despite the years gone by, in which The Boswell Sisters approached the use of harmony, rhythm and vocal resources that encouraged singer Paula Padilla to start the project in 2007. Since then the band has focused mainly on two lines of work: researching a relatively unknown repertoire from the early stages of jazz, of great interest both for its melodic qualities and for its lyrics; and arranging with vocal harmonies the“standard” songs and classics from the Golden Age of Swing which cannot be found in three voice-part versions on recordings.
But none of this work would make sense without offering this music in live performance, the way it took place back in the 30s, in theatres, clubs, or even in the street. O Sister! updates that style and brings it to wider audiences, not only to the usual jazz connoisseur, recuperating an open, spontaneous, direct and fun way of understanding the musical experience - so necessary nowadays, when the social situation too easily reminds us of life during the famous Great Depression.
The band has released two albums under the label Discóbolo. Both Crazy People (2009) and Shout Sister! (2012) were recorded and mixed at producer and musician Jordi Gil’s Sputnik studio in Seville. The recording process was carried out strictly live, with all musicians playing at the same time and in the same room, in the pure early style of recording. In doing so, O Sister! tries to catch in their albums the same freshness and spontaneity that they deliver in their concerts, albeit without the live setting onstage and the rapport with the audience, for they consider themselves a band best enjoyed live.
O Sister! Concerts in New Orleans:
- Boswell Sisters Revue by the Louisiana Museum Foundation. On October 10, 8 pm at the Old U.S. Mint (400 Esplanade Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116). Buy tickets.
- O Sister! at Snug Harbor. On October 12, 8 pm / 10 pm at Snug Harbor Jazz Bistro (626 Frenchmen Street, New Orleans, LA 70119).
O Sister! concerts in Louisiana are scheduled in coincidence with the exhibition Shout, Sister, Shout! The Boswell Sisters of New Orleans, on view at the The Historic New Orleans Collection through October 26, 2014.