It was a blissful Rickie Lee Jones who appeared on the intimate stage of the Israel Museum auditorium Wednesday night, for a short but satisfying performance at the second annual Jerusalem Jazz Festival.
Dressed in black pants and jacket with a ruffled white blouse and wine-colored velvet shoes, Jones was reserved at first with the standing-room only crowd, sitting self-effacedly on a stool when she wasn’t at the microphone singing.
But she gradually warmed up and began joking around with the audience. “I want to tell you that the people playing up here are children,” said Jones, who is 62. “In about 20 years, the collective age of everyone will be my age.”
Jones had only two rehearsals with the band of four local musicians, said Jazz Festival artistic director and trumpeter Avishai Cohen afterwards. The pianist, cellist, bassist and drummer are all musicians from Jerusalem’s Yellow Submarine club, and they offered steady, smooth backup to Jones, with some solos of their own.
“They were great, right?” said Cohen.
As for Jones, her wide grin and little girl voice are familiar, but the selection of swingy and haunting numbers was overlaid with jazzy cadences and riffs, with plenty of room for expansive solos and improvisations from the quartet, as well as Jones herself on her guitar and some piano.
She ended the one-hour performance with “Chuck E’s in Love,” to the delight of the crowd, who applauded for a full five minutes.
The only encore, however, came from other performances in the same festival still continuing in the galleries nearby, the trumpets and saxophones reverberating around the sculptures and paintings of the museum space.
The Jerusalem Jazz Festival continues through Friday, December 16, 2016, at the Israel Museum.