Megan Birdsall, Kansas City's "little jazz bird," had a lousy 2007.
Just as she was on the verge of following Oleta Adams, Karrin Allyson and Kevin Mahogany as the next jazz-oriented vocalist to break out of Kansas City, Birdsall was diagnosed with a painful and severe medical condition requiring expensive surgery.
This orchestrated showstopper from Little Jazz Bird is akin to a Leon Russell production on an old Rita Coolidge album. It's odd to hear Birdsall in this lush setting, because she's a delightfully informal performer. Someone took this live footage the same night I grabbed the photo above. Her playful introduction to "Wichita Lineman" is unspeakably adorable.
Regional jazz promoter Butch Berman died last week. He also played guitar in the bands of Charlie Burton, Sleepy LaBeef and Roy Loney. (Tip via Lee.)
Kansas City Click: It's been a long time since I've endorsed the weekly Rural Grit Happy Hour at the Brick. Bring your beard and your banjo if you want to fit in.