Thursday, September 10, 2015

KARIN SPRITZLER SINGS and EVERYTHING!

 
(Tenth in a series of tales told out of school, both literally and figuratively, how my Swiss Cheese brain remembers such events which may or may not be accurate at all. Preface: I attended a girls' private prep school in the 1960s with a student body who often mimicked the creativity of that era with its own high spirits, a pendulum reaction to the heavy course load and voluminous homework from which many of us still haven't caught up on lost sleep some forty-plus years on and from which many of us still retain permanently stooped posture via carrying heavy textbooks. Well, it's not like there existed alternatives to those heavy textbooks. We didn't have personal home computers because no one on this particular planet in this galaxy had them yet. So let's roll back the roiling mists of time to The Pleistocene of my youth.)
 
She was my immediate classmate at the Westlake School for Girls but she was more everything than me: a better, purer fine artist, prettier, better hair, better figure, more outgoing, more eccentric, with an even more dysfunctional family than my own, chock full of catastrophic deaths, evil step-parents and utter abandonments. With a class full of non-artistic science, literature, history and maths scholars, we just had to click as friends and did. As yearbook art director, I even made her photos the "theme" of every section's graphics with my friend doing something interesting each time.

Despite the machinations of our unaccountably inept college advisor who sent every  student as far away to hither and yon no matter how inappropriate the locale to each one -- arty Karin had been sent to the rust belt of Pittsburgh PA (!) and promptly skedaddled as had virtually every other student transferring away immediately -- we managed to keep somewhat in touch over the intervening 45+ years since graduation and class diaspora.

So imagine the delight when my friend from prep school all those eons ago invited me to her solo singing debut. I had known she had a resonant, bigtime pro voice, something of an improbable mashup of Nina Simone and Patsy Cline with just a soupÇon of melismatic trill: I had recommended her to my late friend Mason Buck to sing on his demos as far back as the 1970s. What I didn't know, despite her frequent jams with Los Angeles mainstays like singer/songwriter, slightly retro, all exuberant Suzy Williams, is that my friend never had tackled a solo gig heretofore.  

So on 8.22.15 at the Unurban Cafe in Santa Monica, California, Karin Spritzler sang a great, genuinely eclectic repertoire of unusual covers and originals backed by a jazz trio consisting of Peter Marshall on standup bass, John Rosenberg and Brad Kay on keyboards, drummer, and Karin on keyboard for two of her own compositions.  The sterling material absolutely transported her and the audience along with her via very emotional delivery of works heretofore associated with Peter & Gordon, Randy Newman and Perry Como!

Set List: GOSPEL SHIP - gospel standard
CATCH A FALLING STAR - Paul Vance/Lee Vocknis
I'M SORRY- Ronnie Self/Dub Albritten
I'M JUST WONDERIN' BABY - Suzy Williams
MAYBE -- Freddie Ginns
LOVER MAN -Jimmie Davis/Roger Ramirez
NAKED MAN - Randy Newman
IF YOU CAN DREAM - Karin Spritzler
WHO YOU ARE - Karin Spritzler
WHAT KIND OF MOON - Karin Spritzler
WORLD WITHOUT LOVE - Paul McCartney/John Lennon
DON'T KNOW WHY - Norah Jones


Entitled "I'm Singing For You With A Heart That's True," it really was a pretty cool show. She exhibited a performing tic similar to one I observed in the late, extremely great Laura Nyro: she babbled a trifle neurotically before the show began, disarming the audience who then would be ill-prepared for the full-throttled blasts of vocals and emotions to come. But respond they did and how: two flower bouquets and an on their feet audience for her encore. Note that happy girl above! Of my photos herein of my contemporary from the paisley mists of the 1960s, a former major label PR bigwig noted, "She looks like Stevie Nicks wishes she looked today."

Two snippets of her next to last song:



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