My friend Anita and I got to Highline Ballroom a little late to see the ’80s and ’90s samba-jazz-pop sensation Basia Trzetrzelewska, known as just Basia, so we had to sit a row or two back on the balcony — so not my style. But it was ok. This was a seated affair with dinner and drinks. I had never seen Basia live before but friends of mine saw her at Chastain Park in Atlanta in the ’90s and had only positive reviews, so I was excited to see her.
I swear she emerged in the mid-’90s with her debut album, Time and Tide, but apparently, I lost seven years of my life because it actually dropped back in 1987. Her music is lovely, and I love her because she has an affinity for Brazilian samba, jazz and swing music. It’s the kind of music that’s perfect for a day alone at that little weekend bungalow you have on Fire Island. Ah, sigh.
She and her band started promptly at 8 p.m. (a second show was at 10), and she did not disappoint. She covered all her best known songs, “Cruising for a Bruising,” “New Day for You,” and “Promises.” She also played a few songs off her latest and fourth studio album, It’s That Girl Again. I love a little self-deprecating humor in my artists. New songs I liked were “If Not Now Then When,” which she opened with, and “Blame it on the Summer.”
Other highlights were “Astrud,” which is an homage to Brazilian great, Astrud Gilberto. Gorgeous song. “Drunk On Love,” “Yearning” and of course the Polish songstress’ big showstopper, “Time and Tide.” Basia still has some beautiful pipes, backed by her long-time partner and collaborator, Danny White, and a pair of twin sister back-up singers from an island in the Indian Ocean whose voices perfectly blended with Basia’s. She is just another example of the diverse array of musical artists who turn me out. Great stuff. Get her Clear Horizons compilation album to hear the best of Basia.