I just love Kate Bush. I always have. The Whole Story was the first actual compact disc I ever purchased back in 1985 (yes, I was a very precocious child) and I cherish it to this day. My podcast king who doubles as the online jazz guru brought this piece to my attention. It’s about offbeat jazz singer Theo Bleckmann and his performance Hello Earth! – The Music of Kate Bush. I don’t know a lot about Theo. In fact, it’s the first I’ve heard of him but I already think he is FANTASTIC! Anyone who gives my girl Kate this kind of love and attention is a rock star in my book. I thoroughly enjoyed Theo’s heartfelt interpretations and once I started listening, I couldn’t stop. It only further demonstrated what an amazing but often underrated songwriter Kate is. Take for example, “This Woman’s Work.” It’s a brilliant song but pretty much all of the credit for it goes to Maxwell. Granted, Maxwell’s version is stunning and I do love it too, but it is so Kate’s song and people should know that. Yeah, I’m calling you out Big Mike and Idol. That’s like singing 101. Maxwell even refers to Kate as ‘the bomb’ on his cut…how’d you miss that?
So even if quirky jazz/musical theater stylings of pop songs are not so much your bag, Theo really does a beautiful job and it’s a strong testament to how this woman’s work truly stands up in any context. And because Theo has not made his own record of these songs, he generously recommends going out and buying some of Kate’s instead. I just love Theo Bleckmann. I’m seeing a Broadway run in his future…maybe with a little Twyla thrown in? So pour yourself something sparkling and let’s toast to Bleckmann and Bush, Inc and WQXR for boldy treating us to this not-your-run-of-the-mill classical station fare recorded live at (Le) Poisson Rouge. C’est magnifique!
Listen to Theo Bleckmann perform the songs “Running Up That Hill,” “Hello Earth” and “Breathing”
Enjoy the entire Theo Bleckmann performance of Hello Earth! – The Music of Kate Bush @ WQXR