Perla Batalla presents The Gospel According To LC (in LA)

Anjani, Sharon Robinson, NEeMA, The Webb Sisters, Dino Soldo, Jennifer Warnes, Perla Batalla, Julie Christensen, Unified Heart Touring Band, Leonard's tours musicians...
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dick
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Post by dick » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:15 pm

I know it's only 8 am on the left coast... but I am very anxious to get reports from the Perla Spectacular.

Wake up sleepyheads!

Thanks in advance for posts from those lucky enough to see it live.
Christine
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The Gospel......

Post by Christine » Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:17 am

from Ventura, California, hello everyone,

Perla's show last night was a stunner. Perla actually had to send us all home cos the standing ovation wasn't ending.

The venue was terrific and the sound would be hard to beat. Among some of the very special moments were Perla's rendition of Bird on a Wire, and her and Julie's Anthem. And Jackson Browne's "a Thousand Kisses Deep" was a thing of beauty that took my breath away.

Here're some of the other highlights for me.....Howard Tate and his soulful adaption of Tower of Song was amazing. And Dave Alvin, who sang Democracy in LC style, was perfect....... talk about attitude! But in a perfect way. Jill Sobule also nailed First We Take Manhattan. And Martha Gonzales rocked, including her flamenco dance!!

I can't tell you about every song but what a show! It was one you just didn't want to end. And I feel honored to have been able to see it.

My thanks to Perla for putting it together, including all the fabulous musicians that were a part of the night.

That's it from me for now...........Christine xxx
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Post by jarkko » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:02 am

http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117932 ... id=34&cs=1
Perla Batalla Presents The Gospel According to Leonard Cohen
(Royce Hall; 1,800 capacity; $52 top)
By STEVEN MIRKINPresented by UCLA Live. Reviewed Feb. 24, 2007.

Performers: Dave Alvin, Perla Batalla, Jackson Browne, Julie Christensen, Javier Colis, Debra Dobkin, Michael Elizondo Jr., Bill Frisell, Bill Gable, Martha Gonzalez, Karen Hammack, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz, Kevin McCormick, Michael McDonald, Dave Palmer, Jill Sobule, Howard Tate, Don Was, John Adams Middle School Madrigal Singers, Steve Weisberg (musical director).

The Gospel According to Leonard Cohen," a lovely, understated tribute to the Canadian singer-songwriter hosted by singer Perla Batalla at UCLA's Royce Hall Saturday night, is the latest concert/album to honor Cohen, coming hot on the heels of the Hal Wilner-produced "Came so Far for Beauty," which formed the basis of last year's concert film and album "I'm Your Man."
Batalla, a warbler with an expressively supple voice who sang backup for Cohen in the '90s, participated in the Wilner tribute, and her Royce Hall production showed his influence, if not his Rolodex, although there were enough names -- Jackson Browne and Michael McDonald probably the best known -- to sell out the 1,800-seat theater.

But multiartist tribute shows can often feel like the professional-singer version of "American Idol": a parade of performers take the stage for one or two songs, and -- regardless of star power -- the success of any given perf has more to do with song selection than raw talent.

The most effective perfs were by the singers who took the songs in new and surprising directions.

Jill Sobule was by far the evening's most effective singer. She gave a much-needed jolt to the overly mellow first half, taking her cue on "First We Take Manhattan" from the lyric that follows the title, "Then we take Berlin," and turned the original's disco throb into brittle, Weimar-era cabaret, a vision of hell where the damned are feted by the cheesy, girlish pop wriggles of the middle eight. She showed her range in the second half with a beautifully modulated "Who by Fire."

Howard Tate was also impressive, as he reworked "The Land of Plenty" into an impassioned country soul sermon and "Tower of Song" into an affecting lament. Martha Gonzalez, from local band Quetzal, upped the emotional temperature on "Sisters of Mercy" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" (the latter translated into Spanish), giving them a bright, idiomatic Latin-American flavor. And Dave Alvin brought the house down with his flinty "Democracy," delivered with the perfect combination of care and revulsion.

On the other hand, with his folky earnestness, Jackson Browne was unable to find a connection with the mordant irony that animates "Waiting for the Miracle." He was somewhat more successful with "A Thousand Kisses Deep," but his easy reading still missed the rueful bitterness in lines such as "your little winning streak." And Michael McDonald's rich, easy tone is lovely, but in the service of "Coming Back to You" and "Hallelujah," it felt like pouring caramel sauce on a good steak.

Bill Frisell, who anchored the fine backing band, added two instrumentals: A straight-ahead "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" was too mellow for its own good, veering toward Muzak; he was better served on the atmospheric "Tacoma Trailer," one of the rare instrumentals in Cohen's oeuvre, which also gave Greg Leisz a chance to stretch out.

Batalla was a personable and gracious host and kept the evening moving at a brisk pace, climaxing in the politically fraught finale of "Anthem" (a duet with Julie Christensen) and "Democracy." Her versions of "Suzanne" and "Bird on a Wire" (the latter the title track from her just-released album of Cohen songs) were beautifully and carefully considered, making two of Cohen's best-known songs sound fresh.
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Post by jarkko » Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:06 pm

Yvonne in Holland has sent us the following setlist:
I just came back from my trip to LA, for The Gospel According to L C.

Set List UCLA Live

Suzanne - Perla
Dance Me To The End Of Love - Boll Gable / Perla
The Land of Plenty - Howard Tate
Chelsea Hotel - Bill Frisell - instrumental
Ain't No Cure for Love - Julie Christensen
Waiting for the Miracle - Jackson Browne
First We Take Manhattan - Jill Sobule
Coming Back To You - Michael McDonald
Sisters of Mercy - Martha Gonzalez
Intermission

Tacoma Trailer - Bill Frisell - instrumental
Bird on the Wire - Perla
Tower of Song - Howard Tate
Famous Blue Raincoat - Martha Gonzalez
Thousand Kisses Deep - Jackson Browne
If It Be Your Will - Julie Christensen
Ballad of the Absent Mare - Javier Colis / Perla
El Carnicero ( The Butcher ) - Javier Colis
Who By Fire - Jill Sobule
Anthem - Julie & Perla
Democrazy - Dave Alvin
Curtain

Hallelujah - Michael McDonald / Choir
It was a beautiful concert and ALL HIGHLIGHTS !!!

Yvonne
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Post by ForYourSmile » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:37 pm

Thank you for this information. (I envy you, Ivonne :wink: and Christine! )

Of course, I had liked to be there, for many reasons. I have curiosity for some versions, others already I know a bit.

Maybe, someday I could see this "Anthem" in live. I do not know why, when I remember "I'm Your Man" I believe that it is the best way to say: "thank you" to Him.
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Post by dick » Mon Feb 26, 2007 6:13 pm

LA Times full of praise -- and yes FYS - hearing Perla and Julie's Anthem live is a fantastic emotional experience.


http://www.calendarlive.com/music/pop/c ... 1041.story

POP MUSIC REVIEW
Cohen's appeal goes beyond ageless lyrics
An all-star tribute cast and a Latino beat bring new insight to the songwriter's work.

By Ann Powers
Times Staff Writer
February 26, 2007

Most musical legends have a horde of imitators nipping at their legacies, but there will never be a new Leonard Cohen.

Sure, a young pretender could copy Cohen's ground-glass growl, or whip out a Bible and some volumes of European poetry and nail his reference points, but the fullness of meaning that Cohen's songs achieve is nearly impossible to emulate.

His compositions don't simply echo folk ballads and hymns — they strive for the quality those songs gain through the centuries, the sense that no one and everyone wrote them.

"I find my own opinions very tiresome and predictable," Cohen once told an interviewer. So he strives to create songs that belong to him through myth, history, the turn of the world.

In this way, Cohen's songs were made to be not imitated but interpreted. Yet another tribute to the man, this one organized by his longtime backup singer Perla Batalla, took place at Royce Hall on Saturday. Under Batalla's eclectic direction, "The Gospel According to Leonard Cohen" proved the universality of Cohen's distinctive art.

Batalla's event couldn't help but recall "Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man," the critically lauded 2006 documentary built around a tribute concert produced by Royce Hall regular Hal Willner and featuring snazzy stars such as Rufus Wainwright and U2.

Batalla, who has just released her own excellent Cohen tribute album, "Bird on the Wire," appears in the documentary. Her own show, however, took Cohen's oeuvre in new directions.

Big-name participants included Jackson Browne, whose graceful ennui suited the late-career gem, "A Thousand Kisses Deep"; Dave Alvin, who delivered an oracular reading of "Democracy," and Michael McDonald, who coped with the burden of singing Cohen's one truly overexposed song, "Hallelujah," by making it a full-force gospel excursion (complete with backing from the choir from Batalla's alma mater, John Adams Middle School in Santa Monica).

Guitarists Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz anchored a top-notch band and string section; Steve Weisberg was musical director.

The program's signal twist was Batalla's insight that her Latina heritage could enrich her readings of Cohen's songs. She sang in Spanish and English, her gorgeous alto persuasive in both.

Most intense was a duet with Javier Colis, a Madrid-based rocker making his California debut. The rough-edged Colis is a star at home, and could become one here; his howling dive into "The Butcher" (or "Le Carnicero") was the night's only really sexy moment. Martha Gonzales of the East L.A. band Quetzal also excelled, transforming "Sisters of Mercy" into a foot-stomping corrido, and making "Famous Blue Raincoat" as richly enigmatic in Spanish as it is in English.

Cohen in Spanish contradicted any thought that his work is only about lyrics: His primal melodies easily attached to a new language.

The veteran soul shouter Howard Tate took Cohen's songs, especially a raucous "Tower of Song," into the deep South, making them into testimonials worthy of a fainting spell. With a flourish, rocker gal Jill Sobule brought "First We Take Manhattan" into the Berlin of "Cabaret," a canny choice for that fable of political resistance.

Batalla and fellow Cohen backup singer Julie Christensen nearly stole the star-studded "I'm Your Man" film with their version. They did so again at Royce Hall, their passion and clarity bringing the glow of the sacred into the room. Cohen would have been proud to hear it. But maybe he's content to let his songs become universal without him.

ann.powers@latimes.com
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Post by jazz4111 » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:07 pm

I can only echo what the others have written - it was a superb concert - the singers and musicians in excellent form some highlights for me besides the incredible voices of Perla and Julie - were the steel guitar instrumental rendition of Chelsea Hotel and the Spanish language version of Famous Blue Raincoat - but you could easily tell as far as all were concerned: it could have gone on for hours more - without losing a single audience member.
The play list was well composed and balanced "something for everyone" as they say. The house was packed - mostly the over 40 generation (okay - over 50...) but some UCLA students as well - since Royce Hall is a part of the university and the centerpiece of its Westwood campus - we got there early - had a glass of wine in the lobby bar and split another one during the intermission. We had great seats - since the tickets I got on Craig's List were from a season ticket holder who chose his location last July when the program was first announced. I saw IYM in Toronto Film Festival at its first screening - but there's something about a live concert that just can't be duplicated on film. (has something to do with being a "hot": versus a "cool" medium - if you have any interest in film theory) - me I just liked being there! It was a delight - a great night.
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Daily Variety Review

Post by jazz4111 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:55 am

In its entirety (though I don't necessarily agree with all of it) a positive review:
Perla Batalla Presents The Gospel According to Leonard Cohen
(Royce Hall; 1,800 capacity; $52 top)
By STEVEN MIRKIN
Presented by UCLA Live. Reviewed Feb. 24, 2007.

Performers: Dave Alvin, Perla Batalla, Jackson Browne, Julie Christensen, Javier Colis, Debra Dobkin, Michael Elizondo Jr., Bill Frisell, Bill Gable, Martha Gonzalez, Karen Hammack, Don Heffington, Greg Leisz, Kevin McCormick, Michael McDonald, Dave Palmer, Jill Sobule, Howard Tate, Don Was, John Adams Middle School Madrigal Singers, Steve Weisberg (musical director).

The Gospel According to Leonard Cohen," a lovely, understated tribute to the Canadian singer-songwriter hosted by singer Perla Batalla at UCLA's Royce Hall Saturday night, is the latest concert/album to honor Cohen, coming hot on the heels of the Hal Wilner-produced "Came so Far for Beauty," which formed the basis of last year's concert film and album "I'm Your Man."
Batalla, a warbler with an expressively supple voice who sang backup for Cohen in the '90s, participated in the Wilner tribute, and her Royce Hall production showed his influence, if not his Rolodex, although there were enough names -- Jackson Browne and Michael McDonald probably the best known -- to sell out the 1,800-seat theater.

But multiartist tribute shows can often feel like the professional-singer version of "American Idol": a parade of performers take the stage for one or two songs, and -- regardless of star power -- the success of any given perf has more to do with song selection than raw talent.

The most effective perfs were by the singers who took the songs in new and surprising directions.

Jill Sobule was by far the evening's most effective singer. She gave a much-needed jolt to the overly mellow first half, taking her cue on "First We Take Manhattan" from the lyric that follows the title, "Then we take Berlin," and turned the original's disco throb into brittle, Weimar-era cabaret, a vision of hell where the damned are feted by the cheesy, girlish pop wriggles of the middle eight. She showed her range in the second half with a beautifully modulated "Who by Fire."

Howard Tate was also impressive, as he reworked "The Land of Plenty" into an impassioned country soul sermon and "Tower of Song" into an affecting lament. Martha Gonzalez, from local band Quetzal, upped the emotional temperature on "Sisters of Mercy" and "Famous Blue Raincoat" (the latter translated into Spanish), giving them a bright, idiomatic Latin-American flavor. And Dave Alvin brought the house down with his flinty "Democracy," delivered with the perfect combination of care and revulsion.

On the other hand, with his folky earnestness, Jackson Browne was unable to find a connection with the mordant irony that animates "Waiting for the Miracle." He was somewhat more successful with "A Thousand Kisses Deep," but his easy reading still missed the rueful bitterness in lines such as "your little winning streak." And Michael McDonald's rich, easy tone is lovely, but in the service of "Coming Back to You" and "Hallelujah," it felt like pouring caramel sauce on a good steak.

Bill Frisell, who anchored the fine backing band, added two instrumentals: A straight-ahead "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" was too mellow for its own good, veering toward Muzak; he was better served on the atmospheric "Tacoma Trailer," one of the rare instrumentals in Cohen's oeuvre, which also gave Greg Leisz a chance to stretch out.

Batalla was a personable and gracious host and kept the evening moving at a brisk pace, climaxing in the politically fraught finale of "Anthem" (a duet with Julie Christensen) and "Democracy." Her versions of "Suzanne" and "Bird on a Wire" (the latter the title track from her just-released album of Cohen songs) were beautifully and carefully considered, making two of Cohen's best-known songs sound fresh.

(he seems to like the modern, edgier stuff best - probably another one of those young whippersnapper music reviewers!) ;-)
Jazz
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Post by Zoe Martell » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:50 am

Wow, I'm way late in replying, but I pretty much echo everone else's sentiments...

Anthem actually made me cry, it was so beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also loved Alvin's democracy, and Jackson Browne's 1000 kisses deep -- I'm a die-hard Jackson Browne fan, so that one was particularly special.

The whole evening was beautiful and magical, and much worth the trip. I'd see it again and again if I could.....sigh....
Now that my ladder's gone
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag and bone shop of the heart

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Post by Tchocolatl » Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:08 am

Leonard Cohen's compositions taken to another realm
By Fred Shuster, Music Writer

Article Launched: 02/22/2007 09:00:00 PM PST

Ancient scriptures, parables and legends — along with romance in all its tangled forms — have always inspired the poetry and songs of Leonard Cohen.

In songs like "Story of Isaac," the poet, novelist and singer recasts Abraham's attempted sacrifice of his son as a contemporary morality play. Another number, "Who by Fire," is derived from a Jewish prayer recited on Yom Kippur, and one of Cohen's most famous songs, "Hallelujah," compares spiritualism to romantic yearning.

It's the spiritual aspect of Cohen's huge body of work that Perla Batalla, a former backup singer for the bard, aims to illuminate at Saturday's tribute concert to Cohen at UCLA's Royce Hall.

Batalla's "The Gospel According to Leonard Cohen," presented by UCLA Live, brings together singers Jackson Browne, Michael McDonald, Howard Tate, Dave Alvin and Julie Christensen in the service of such enduring songs as "Bird on the Wire," "Sisters of Mercy" and "Joan of Arc."

Cohen's music "will live forever," Batalla says. "The songs and themes are beautiful, and they will be discussed and appreciated for as long as people are on this planet."

Called the "poet of pessimism" for his funereal delivery and mordant lyrics, the Montreal-born Cohen, 72, is the subject of a series of events this year.

Expanded editions of his first three albums — "Songs of Leonard Cohen" (1967), "Songs From a Room" (1969) and "Songs of Love and Hate" (1970) — will be issued in April by Columbia, the record label he's been associated with for 40 years.

The 50th-anniversary edition of "Let Us Compare Mythologies," Cohen's first book of poetry, will be published in May.

And a new piece by composer Philip Glass based on Cohen's book of poetry "Book of Longing," has been conceived as an evening-length concert work composed for musicians, singers, spoken word and imagery. It premieres in June at the Luminato Festival in Toronto before going on tour.

"Artists want to interpret the work because the writing is so deep that it has different levels of truth for every person," said Batalla, who recorded a collection of Cohen's songs a few years ago. "There's no obvious way to do the songs. I've seen these songs done in ways I could never have imagined."

Batalla said the actual Royce Hall program would be decided during rehearsals, but she planned to sing "Bird on the Wire," which she performs in "I'm Your Man," the DVD/CD release of producer Hal Willner's star-studded Cohen documentary and tribute concerts set in Australia and the U.K.

n the film, U2's the Edge muses that Cohen is "the man who comes down from the mountaintop with tablets of stone."

Along with a cast of well-known singers, the UCLA Live event will include such dependable players as bassist Don Was, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and guitarists Bill Frisell and Greg Leisz.

"When I was putting this together, everyone just jumped at it," said Batalla, a Los Angeles native who has been known to sing everything from traditional Latino music to bluesy ballads. "Michael McDonald didn't even wait one second — he just said yes immediately, and Jackson Browne said the same thing. It's a great opportunity to sing this delicious music."

As far as Cohen himself dropping by, Batalla says it's possible, although he's apparently wrapped up in the birth of his first grandchild at the moment.

"Leonard is a very humble man, and he wonders why all this is happening," Batalla said. "But he loves it and is deeply honored when these things happen."



Source :

http://www.dailybulletin.com/music/ci_5282778
***
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