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Madeleine Peyroux plays Santa Barbara's Arlington Theatre / Jazz Weekly

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Madeleine Peyroux showed at her Arlington Theatre concert that she has been able to accomplish what is surely the goal of every artist; that of finding one's own voice. That has been doubly hard for Ms. Peyroux, as early in her career she was unjustly labeled as a Billie Holiday sound-alike. Yes, her voice still has a stroke of Lady Day's lilt and tone, but Peyroux has wisely emphasized the bohemian and gypsy side of life during her career, creating a puree' for all of her interpretations of material to be sift through.

Teamed up with the gents that accompanied on her recent album Secular Hymns, namely Jon Herrington/b and Barak Mori/g, Peyroux took the audience through various moods and journeys. Sometimes delivering cozy and upbeat swing as on "(Getting Some ) Fun Out of Life" and "Don't Wait To Long," she also delivered minstrel-like street performances, acting out lyrics to "Hello Babe" or telling harrowing stories with her flexible voice on "Tango Till They're Sore" and "Guilty." With dirge-like string accompaniment, Peyroux penetrated each heart with a haunting read of " Danny Boy" while having a jolly good time with a Dan Hicks-inspired read of "Getting Better" while even some sensuous samba made sense as Peyroux and her team took you to the beaches of Brazil with an ultra-romantic "Agua de Beber" before landing on the steps of the Left Bank with a solo performance of "La Javanaise."

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