Daria, a delightful singer from Northern California who in the past has explored a combination of jazz and World Music in addition to touring as a backup singer for the late Dan Hicks, recently released a CD on the Origin label (Strawberry Fields Forever, Songs By The Beatles) of her versions of Beatles songs.
However it was obvious from the beginning of her performance at Vitello's E-Spot Lounge that her interpretations are "reimagined" and filled with surprises and creativity. As she later said, "We are not a cover band" and there were no predictable versions of such overdone songs as "Yesterday," and "Hey Jude." First Daria's superb trio, which consisted of pianist Otmaro Ruiz, electric bassist Abraham Laboriel and drummer Alex Acuna, played a tasteful and sensitive version of "Norwegian Wood."
Daria next performed fresh renditions of "Strawberry Fields" and "Come Together," displaying her wide range, making percussive sounds in spots, and rarely singing the expected. "Blackbird" and "Bye Bye Blackbird" were combined together in a medley taken as a duet with Laboriel, her swinging version of "Can't Buy Me Love" (which included some scatting) was worthy of Ella Fitzgerald, and she turned "Baby You Can Ride My Car" into a finger-snapper.
Other highlights included "A Taste Of Honey," "Fool On The Hill" (during which Laboriel often hinted at Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca"), a funky rendition of "Helter Skelter" and Daria's original "Turn Around." Throughout the set the trio frequently gave the music Latin polyrhythms while Daria improvised within the context of the songs. Daria and her trio succeeded at turning the Beatles repertoire into jazz. Her CD is well worth picking up.