Ann Arbor Weather:
Friday October 20, 2017
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
Print Comment E-mail

Shahida Nurullah



pensive lament "It's Not Easy Bein' Green." This may not seem like a great vehicle for a jazz vocalist, but Nurullah made it her own, without tricks, without bathos, and without scatting, but with a direct simplicity that evoked Billie Holiday and a vocal control that reminded me of Sarah Vaughan. She may bring to mind such illustrious precursors, but her sound and phrasing are all her own.

Since that evening at the Bird I have heard her many times in various settings, and my admiration for her musicianship has grown steadily. Whether swinging on standards, rocking the blues, or gently swaying a bossa nova, she delves deeply into a song without affectation and without unnecessary vocal acrobatics. She seeks out unusual pieces to sing and has even been known to offer texts in original languages such as Portuguese. Her strong musical training at Cass Tech, a school that has produced many famous jazz players, is evident in her intelligent and soulful approach to melody, phrasing, and rhythm. It is not easy to make a living as a jazz singer in Detroit. But Nurullah has persevered, and when a terrible accident left her with injuries that would have overwhelmed most people, she overcame them by sheer force of will, and with the love and help of friends from the Motor City's close-knit jazz community.

Bookmark and Share
previous  ·  1 l 2 l 3  ·  next page
all on one page
read more stories here -> Marketplace  l  Culture  l  Community  l  News

You might also like:

"If I had to sum up my philosophy in one word," John Rotche says, "it would have to be GO!"
Cynthia Furlong Reynolds
Neighborhoods - Northwest
Tumbao Bravo
Sweet as a well-made mojito
Sandor Slomovits
Suicide Prevention
After three deaths, the schools step up their efforts to support students.
Julie Halpert
Civil War Story
When Ken Burns' teacher became his student
Janet Peacock
Vievee Francis
Keith Taylor
Social and Political Activism
Community Services - Jobs, Training and Finances
Photo: Immigrant Success
The Iraolas' Labor of Love
They worked for a year to get their downtown store ready.
Sabine Bickford
John Shultz photography and Portrait Studio in Ann Arbor since 1982