"I don't think of myself as just a singer," says Dee Daniels, "I think of myself as a storyteller." That's how Daniels, an esteemed jazz vocalist based in Vancouver, BC, outlines her approach to a song. Anyone can sing the words, she contends, but "the thing to remember is that a song is really a conversation."

I first heard Daniels several years ago with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra; her four-octave range, elegant phrasing, and daredevil vocal pyrotechnics wowed the crowd. In total command of her instrument—"It's important to be a singer and a musician," she tells me—Daniels fuses technical prowess with emotions that dig deep into the blues.

This Seattle show is a prerelease party for her forthcoming album, Jazzinit. The disc helps vanquish the myth that pop songs of the rock era lack the lyrical and harmonic sophistication of Tin Pan Alley classics and show tunes. Except for the venerable "'Deed I Do," Jazzinit steers clear of Broadway-born jazz standards. Daniels and her trio—pianist Tony Foster, Russ Botten on bass, and drummer Greg Williamson—rebuilt pop hits such as "Hello," "What a Fool Believes," "Respect," and most notably the classic Earth, Wind & Fire ballad "Can't Hide Love" from the ground up.

In "Can't Hide Love," Daniels doesn't bother imitating Philip Bailey's falsetto. Instead, the tune starts briskly with Daniels sassily staggering the lyrics for emphasis ("You can't give what you never had") and then embellishing the original version's troublesome (and weak) "Well I betcha" lyric with a supple, melismatic vibrato. Toward the end of the tune, she catapults briefly into Bailey's faux-soprano stratospheric range; her decidedly unangelic swagger makes the song hers.

See Dee Daniels on Sat May 26 at The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333, sets at 7 and 9:30 pm, $20 adv/$25 DOS.



Many jazz pianists possess superb technique, but Williams remains one of the few who can connect the constituent parts of keyboard virtuosity—a calibrated touch, blinding speed, prudent use of the sustain pedal, harmonic ingenuity, melodic invention, and a well-timed sense of simplicity—into a coherent solo performance. Here, she performs a solo segment and in a trio with drummer John Bishop and Big Neighborhood bassist Doug Miller. The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333, 7:30 pm, $25.


Soprano Jill Carlsen sings songs by Samuel Barber and Enrique Granados; pianist Deborah Gondolfo rounds out the bill with works by the three Bs of Music Appreciation 101: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms. Women's University Club, 1105 Sixth Ave, 623-0402, 7:30 pm, free.

UW student composers present their works in a concert dominated by electroacoustic music. On the docket: Wyatt Fletcher's "Meminisse Exquis" for improvised cello and live electronics along with a slew of purely electroacoustic pieces, including John Teske's rarefaction, "Under Heaven" by Richard Johnson, a "computer-realized journey" by Doug Niemela, Verso Libero, and more. Brechemin Auditorium in the Music Building, UW campus, 685-8384, 7:30 pm, $5.

Based on Virgil's The Aeneid, Henry Purcell's opera premiered in 1689. Laced with unexpectedly alluring dissonance, prophetic works such as Dido remind me that music history has nothing to do with "progress." With a cast drawn mainly from the UW Music Department. Also Sat May 26 at 7:30 pm and Sun May 27 at 3 pm. Meany Theater, UW campus, 543-4880, 7:30 pm, $15/$25.

Like musique concrète, the organ symphony began as a little-known, singularly French genre that eventually exerted influence beyond its initially hermetic borders: Musique concrète helped make the timbral richness of pop music possible while the organ symphony midwifed the spectacular music of Olivier Messiaen. St. James Cathedral organist Joseph Adam continues his survey of the organ symphony and plays the Symphony No. 3 in F-sharp minor by Louis Vierne and Charles-Marie Widor's Symphony No. 8 in B minor. St. James Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave, 382-4874, 8 pm, students pay as able/$15.


Trumpeter Cuong Vu and violist Eyvind Kang team up with the legendary guitarist to benefit the perpetually beleaguered Gallery 1412. Let's hope that the new condos next door do not spell the end for this essential venue, the locus of experimental music in Seattle since 2002. Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave, 322-1533, 8 pm, donation requested.


Oh my, how the classical music business has changed. Decades ago, American record companies consistently recorded American symphony orchestras. Today, the Philadelphia Orchestra records for the Finnish label Ondine; their recent recordings of Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4 and the Symphony No. 5 are thunderous and superb. Conductor Christoph Eschenbach leads the band in Mozart's beloved Sinfonia Concertante and the Symphonie Fantastique of Berlioz. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 215-4747, 7:30 pm, $36—$115.