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January 9, 2011

THE THREE DEGREES - JUDY BUTTERFIELD AT THE RRAZZ ROOM





THE THREE DEGREES –
THEY’RE STILL HERE

THE LONGEST RUNNING GIRL SINGING GROUP IS ‘THE THREE DEGREES’.  

Their harmonies are still as rapturous as when they began.  Sure, there have been some changes. People get older and some changes in singers have taken place. But the core of the three degrees, still have that pizzazz. The glamorous clothes and the elegant hand movemens still fascinate.


The three singers have voices that could knock the ‘Supremes’ off the stage. Why they never reached that pinnacle I’ll never know. Remember, this music was the time for lovers, feeling and sensuality. This music was new – hip and everyone was singing it. So, at the Rrazz Room – it was no surprise to hear the audience sing along with their favorites. In fact “The Degrees” encouraged them to do so. It’s all so 70’s – and that is what makes it so enjoyable.

My only complaint is that the orchestrations sound pretty much alike from one song to another. The drumbeat is mostly static and overall -- the arrangements are not very imaginative.  They need to take another look at the old arrangements – and stick with that. As good as some of the vocals are – the music almost drowned them out.

They have this thing of changing lead singers, so that they all get a turn. It’s a great idea, but it would work out better, if they really let each one do more of a solo with the others as backup. This way it would really showcase every girl’s talent. And, they all have plenty that.

My Favorites were “Dirty Old Man” (their 2nd biggest it) – Their own favorite and mine -- “The Sound of Philadelphia.” And the absolutely fantastic “If You Don’t Know Me” couldn’t be better. It also was one of the all-time audience's fave.  Really loved – “When Will I See You Again.”

This show with the current “The Three” is a classic reminder of how great their harmonies were. True 70’s soul fans will love it hearing Valerie Holiday – Helen Scott and Freddie Pool sing in full spectrum.


JUDY BUTTERFIELD AT THE RRAZZ ROOM

TODAY AT 3PM

JUDY BUTTERFIELD the rising singer is at the Rrazz room to day at 3pm. Butterfield being young brings a youthful interpretation to the well-known ‘Great American Songbook’. The equally well-known Andrea Marcovicci discovered her. 

Judy has performed a Judy Garland Tribute show in N.Y. to great raves. Now in San Francisco she will bring her pure style of singing to the Rrazz today at 3pm and Monday at 8pm. The new show is titled “Under the Manhattan Moon. Believe me – her voice will brighten your day. Maybe that’s why the Sun came out today in San Francisco.

Oh, by the way – Butterfield has won a Mabel Mercer Foundation Award and a Julie Wilson Award.  And yes – she is glamorous.


(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))









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