Patti Wicks is one special lady. She is an incredible jazz pianist (you could listen to her play for hours) and can more than hold her own on the vocals. She is more an interpreter than legit singer and she would be the first to agree with her self deprecating manner, simplicity and ever so special delivery of Songs of Love and April – a program that she is performing now at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.
Her vocal quality is something of a cross between Gwen Verdon, Lauren Bacall and Yogi Bera. But it’s not her voice that enchants alone – it is her whole being. She sings and plays from the soul and that is the reason she performs – she loves it and it is so apparent that when she misses a lyric she just shrugs it off, makes some goofy smile at the audience as if to say well, I tried my best and continues without missing a beat. You just want to hug her. In an aside she muttered, “I used to know the lyrics but heart, not any more.” It was extremely touching and it didn’t matter one bit.
Bringing back memories of Blossom Dearie, she sang a moving “Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most”. Other standouts include – “It Might As Well Be Spring”, “I’ll Remember”, a beautiful “Where Were You in April?” a melancholy “Spring Will Be Late This Year” and a terrific “By Myself”. Patti Wicks is totally disarming. Mellow. Funny. And just plain wonderful.
She is accompanied on bass by the most unlikely looking bassist I’ve ever seen. Linc Milliman seems to have walked straight out of a meeting of bankers, looking very much like Edgar Bergen until he starts to play. He is a wonder to look at with his superb musicianship and a distinct pleasure to listen to.
Together they are just what one needs to sit back and relax and listen to two great pros performing. As an encore, they treated us with the most beautiful rendition of “Out of This World”. And that’s exactly where they will take you. Try not to miss them.