Lisa Fischer is a more than a singer. She’s a sorceress. Her voice turns melodies into rocket fuel, spellbinding listeners in rock halls and jazz clubs while infusing symphony orchestras and ballet companies with new dimensions of sound. Even birds pause their own serenades to hear Fischer sing.
On a recent summer evening in New York, Fischer kicked off a six-show run at the Blue Note. An enraptured audience savored every second. Led by musical director JC Maillard, accompanying trio Grand Baton created vivid sonic vistas for Fischer to explore, from her rendition of “This Land is Your Land” to Maillard’s own buoyant composition “Ansanm”. Fischer’s GRAMMY-winning solo hit “How Can I Ease the Pain?” brought the room to a reverent hush, following a surprise duet with Bernard Fowler on “Gimme Shelter”, a soul-shattering homage to their tenure together as background vocalists for the Rolling Stones. In between, Fischer seemed to channel a mythic deity on Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. Her opening wail stopped time.
How did young Lisa Fischer from Fort Greene, Brooklyn become the high priestess of shamanistic rock and soul? Simply by being herself. During her shows with Grand Baton, she’s as likely to perform an aria as “Dancing in the Street”, a versatility rooted in her years of singing with artists ranging from Teddy Pendergrass to Nine Inch Nails...