Catherine Russell On Mountain Stage Making her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage since 2006, Grammy-winning vocalist Catherine Russell treated the audience to songs off her latest album, Alone Together.

Catherine Russell on Mountain Stage. Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage/West Virginia Public Broadcasting hide caption

toggle caption
Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Catherine Russell on Mountain Stage.

Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Mountain Stage

Catherine Russell On Mountain StageWest Virginia Public Broadcasting

Catherine Russell On Mountain Stage

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/763730543/763812516" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Making her fifth appearance on Mountain Stage since 2006, Grammy-winning vocalist Catherine Russell treated the audience to songs off her latest album, Alone Together.

Russell performed with David Bowie in his last touring band as background vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, and she's been singing with Steely Dan from the mid-1990s to the present. Her jazz pedigree is a family affair. Her late father, Luis Russell, was pianist, orchestra leader, and musical director for Louis Armstrong. Her mother, the late bassist and vocalist Carline Ray, had two degrees including one from Juilliard, so it's no surprise that Russell can sing anything and has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music.

Flying high on the groove of Matt Munisteri (guitar), Mark Shane (piano) and Tal Ronen (bass), she set the tone for the good times to follow with "Having Myself A Time," in which she sings, "I'm having what I want, wanting what I have / Doing what I like and liking what I do and I am having myself a time."

With the audience having themselves a time too, Russell slow rolled into the aching beauty of "Alone Together," before burrowing down into the blues with the Louis Jordan song, "Early In The Morning." She deftly downshifts into "When Did You Leave Heaven?," the 1936 ballad covered by the likes of Bob Dylan and Big Bill Broonzy.

Wearing her hip jazz history hat, she introduces the 1923 Rosa Henderson song, "He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar," by sharing her love of the female singers of that era. "Those of you who know me know I love the blues women of the 1920s," she said. "Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith, Clara Smith, Trixie Smith, Ethel Waters, Sippie Wallace, Eva Taylor and the list goes on and on."

Russell and the band all show their chops on the closing number, an incredibly nimble rendering of the Nat King Cole number "I'm an Errand Girl for Rhythm."

Set List:

  • "Having Myself A Time" (Leo Rubin/Ralph Rainger)
  • "Alone Together" (Arthur Schwartz/Howard Dietz)
  • "Early In the Morning" (Louis Jordan, Art Hickman, Dallas Bartley)
  • "When Did You Leave Heaven" (Richard Whiting/Walter Bullock)
  • "He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar" (Public Domain)
  • "I'm An Errand Girl For Rhythm" (Nat King Cole)
[+] read more[-] less

More From Jazz

Gregory Porter Jonathan Chimene/Courtesy of Jazz At Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Jonathan Chimene/Courtesy of Jazz At Lincoln Center

Gregory Porter: Personal Stories For Universal Songs

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Host Christian McBride chats with singer-songwriter Gregory Porter about his journey as an ascendent talent.

Gregory Porter: Personal Stories For Universal Songs

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/762438826/762442657" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Aerial view of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal. © Victor Diaz Lamich/Courtesy of Festival International de Jazz de Montreal hide caption

toggle caption © Victor Diaz Lamich/Courtesy of Festival International de Jazz de Montreal

A Toast To The Montreal International Jazz Festival At 40: Jazz, Blues & Much More

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We celebrate 40 years of The Montreal International Jazz Festival with iconic performances and unique stories including Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Diana Krall, Oscar Peterson and Pat Metheny.

A Toast To The Montreal International Jazz Festival At 40: Jazz, Blues & Much More

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/759959062/760220956" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Miles and Betty Davis in color in Miles' New York westside brownstone, 1969 Baron Wolman hide caption

toggle caption Baron Wolman

Electric Miles: Behind The 'Brew'

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

We celebrate the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis going electric for Bitches Brew — part controversial, part revolutionary and as a whole, historic.

Electric Miles: Behind The 'Brew'

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/751422609/751477610" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Cannonball Adderley sits with his saxophone. JP Jazz Archive/Redferns/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption JP Jazz Archive/Redferns/Getty Images

'The Black Messiah' And The Legacy Of Cannonball Adderley

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley left a monumental legacy during his two decades in the spotlight. Revisit his music with old bandmates and Patrick Bartley Jr.'s young New York band.

'The Black Messiah' And The Legacy Of Cannonball Adderley

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/745324110/745476669" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Masego plays a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 8, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Masego

The spirit of Cab Calloway lives on in Masego, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who surprised NPR's Tiny Desk audience with a zany sense of showmanship.

Jacob Collier plays a Tiny Desk Concert on May 16, 2019. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Jacob Collier

As the NPR staff gathered to watch his performance, Jacob Collier sprinted full bore down the hallway for his set, hardly able to contain his creative energy or enthusiasm.

Watch the Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour perform live from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Jazz at Lincoln Center hide caption

toggle caption Jazz at Lincoln Center

Watch The Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour Celebrate 60 Years

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Watch the Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour featuring Christian Sands, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Bria Skonberg, Melissa Aldana, Yasushi Nakamura and Jamison Ross.

Host Christian McBride and Saxophonist Lou Donaldson in Florida. Katie Simon/WBGO hide caption

toggle caption Katie Simon/WBGO

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From 'Sweet Papa' Lou Donaldson

WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center

Host Christian McBride sits down with saxophonist Lou Donaldson to talk about Lou's life as a performer, his thoughts on jazz today and how hip-hop brought new ears to his music.

Good Gracious! Words Of Wisdom And Soulful Reflection From 'Sweet Papa' Lou Donaldson

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/733992956/734463789" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top