All About Jazz 2002
At Lawless Memorial Chapel New Orleans
By Tod Smith
Opening for Dr. Lincoln this evening was Cleveland born, Paris resident Liz McComb, An extraordinarily talented gospel singer who has performed in such historic venues as the Casino de Paris, the Olympia and the Lincoln Center. Representing the gospel portion of the evening, Ms. McComb's brand of gospel includes a healthy dose of the jazz idiom, a fact she attributes to her brother's love of the music. This was her first performance in New Orleans, but she will be returning for the second weekend of the upcoming Jazz Fest (April 26 - May 5, 2002). Her set was highlighted by a swing infused number entitled "There's a Man Upstairs" that highlighted Ms. McComb's considerable vocal talent. Scatting and improvising, Ms. McComb stretched the limits of gospel music and truly formed a musical bridge for the two idioms. With Byron Johnson on piano; Donald Ramsey on bass and Bernard "Bunchie" Johnson on drums, Ms. McComb has given us a glimpse into what will certainly be a favorite performance at this year's Jazz Fest.