When the Beatles released their “White Album” 45 years ago it was a worldwide event. Teenagers across the U.S. (such as this reviewer) discussed the songs and pondered their meaning when they should have been studying biology. The impact was huge; an album without a cover photo unprecedented! Memories such as these were rekindled and happily relived when Rachael Worby and MUSE/IQUE kicked off their 2013/14 Uncorked Series on Monday, October 14, 2013 "rocking" Phoenix Decorating Company’s Rose Palace Warehouse in Pasadena. “Self/Titled: The Beatles, The White Album, The Rose Palace” featured “Glee” star Kevin Michael McHale, the Charlie Greene Band, DkF Vocal Ensemble, pianist Brian Pezzone and a string quartet of MUSE/IQUE musicians led by violinist Julie Rogers.
What ensued during the one-time only performance was a magical and marvelous evening of soulful, interesting and smoking hot interpretations of the Fab Four’s music that charmed the capacity crowd. Everyone was fabulous. McHale sang with heart and soul shining. Charlie Greene and his band demonstrated their versatility. A capella harmonies by DkF were out of this world. Pezzone’s playing was transcendent as were the songs performed by the string quartet. Surprise guest guitarist and long time supporter of MUSE/IQUE, Jerry Kohl returned to his musical roots and performed the solo in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” splendidly much to the delight of the audience which gave him a standing ovation.
Each Uncorked event is unique and unparalleled but this one was out of this world and the best yet; a tough act to follow. Last year Worby and her “band” celebrated the 45th anniversary of “Sgt. Peppers’ Lonely Hearts Club Band.” One can only hope next year they will complete the triptych and open the season celebrating the 45th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Abby Road” album.
MUSE/IQUE continues the Uncorked Series with a spotlight on female jazz musicians 7 p.m. Monday, November 11, 2013 at the expansive Avon Distribution Center in Pasadena. The program at Avon, itself long a symbol of female empowerment, opens with a screening of the acclaimed award-winning documentary film “The Girls in the Band,” which traces the history of women jazz artists from the 1930s through present day, exposing sexism and racism faced by the immensely talented women who broke through primarily male music bastions.
Avon, according to Fortune magazine, is the world’s fifth largest cosmetic company and second largest direct selling company, with 6.4 million independent sales representatives, primarily female, in more than 140 countries. Capping the evening are an interactive panel discussion with the film's director Judy Chaikin and some of the celebrated artists in the film, moderated by Worby, as well as musical interludes performed by some of the current leading ladies of jazz, including saxophonist Mindi Abair, who has appeared with Josh Groban, Lee Ritenour and the Backstreet Boys, among many others. A complimentary pre-concert cocktail hour for ticket holders, with “popcorn fare” and music by an all-female jazz ensemble from Westridge High School in Pasadena, begins at 6 p.m. followed by the 7 p.m. program.
Avon is located at 2940 E. Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena. Ample free parking is available. Tickets are $50 per person. Tickets are also free with MUSE/IQUE membership, which ranges from $125 to $1,000 and includes a variety of special benefits. For tickets and membership information, please call 626-539-7085 or visit www.muse-ique.org.