The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Presents: "Just Dinah and Me" Friday night at the Clarence Muse Cafe Theater." The Musical tribute to Dinah Washington starred Dallas native Sandra Kaye The performance of Washington's songs was delightful. Kaye opened by belting out one of Washington’s classics: "I Don't Hurt Anymore." She sang more than 10 of Washington's hits. However, her rendition of "Evil Gal Blues" and "I've Got You Under My Skin" moved the audience to hand clapping and feet stomping. Her performance of "Me and My Gin" brought the audience to its feet before intermission. The cozy venue allowed Kaye's voice to resonate without the accompaniment of the microphone at times. The transitions between songs appeared to be seamless during the performance. The pianist and song stress were synchronized on stage. Kaye's popularity with jazz enthusiast made her an excellent choice for this performance. Typically, Washington sang with the accompaniment of an orchestra or band with remarkable horn sections. However, only the pianist and Kaye were on stage for the evening. Since a band was not present, the audience noticed that something was missing but Kaye's stage presence held their attention. The classic evening gowns Kaye wore were combined with the night club atmosphere enabled the audience to become a part of the performance. It was as if the audience was transported into a nightclub during the mid-50's listening to Dinah Washington perform live. Washington, most known for singing "What A Difference a Day Makes," was a versatile singer from the 40's and 50's. Her recordings. included blues, jazz, R&B and light pop. Although Washington began singing professionally as a gospel singer, she did not record a gospel song because she did not believe in mixing secular and spiritual music."
Alisha Rogers Dallas Black News