Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Somehow, despite the heft of guitars and the pulse of drums, the achingly clear quality of the female voice survives. Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Manchester - all these stylists whose voices straightened your backbone like a fingernail down the blackboard - these clear and clearedged vocalists have once more made it respectable to be a sensualist.
Jane Olivor is more than a match for any of these: even Ronstadt, even Streisand.
Olivor, a cabaret singer making her first rounds in Washington, is a slight, Brooklynese waif of a singer. Like Ronstadt, she lacks the sheer force of a Rosalind Russell - but who cares? It is the glory of her tone, the icy exactness of her notes that freightens and exalts the listener.
Thursday night at the Cellar Door Olivor pulled together two entirely different audiences: the romanticists, who come to Olivor via Streisand; and the sensualists, who come to her via the steambath vocalists like Bette Midler.
Run, you sensualists, run and grab any Jane Olivor album you can find. One day you will say I spotted her before she was a superstar.
If you get the chance, pull in early enough to see the opening act. Michael Johnson is a rare pleasure.