Critic's Pick: Annie Sellick & The Uptown Big Band

Critic's Pick: Annie Sellick & The Uptown Big Band

June 7th, 2014 by Casey Phillips in Chattnow Music

Annie Sellick

Photo by Contributed Photo/Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

* What: Annie Sellick and the Uptown Big Band.

* When: 8 p.m. Tonight.

* Where: Unum Stage.

* Admission: Riverbend 9-day wristband ($50); one-day wristband ($26).

After interviewing Annie Sellick before a gig in February at Barking Legs Theater, I was left with the impression that she is the rare musical gem who sings for all the right reasons, not money or fame but the sheer joy of performance. She has the kind of passion for music that's as difficult for her to contain as a champagne cork after a trip through a paint shaker.

Fortunately, the Nashville-based songstress banks on enthusiasm carrying her through. Her vocals shimmer with a sultry quality that jazz fans immediately will liken to artists such as Billie Holiday or Anita O'Day.

When last she played the Scenic City, Sellick was fronting the Hot Club of Nashville, a hot jazz ensemble named after swing greats Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli's Quintette du Hot Club de France. Tonight, she'll be fronting the Uptown Big Band, a Chattanooga-based ensemble with whom she played last fall. They've got a large enough membership to give the evening a suitable level of swinging grandeur.

For those who aren't fans of jam band music and are looking to distance themselves from Widespread Panic's headlining performance, Sellick and company are about as far toward the opposite side of the spectrum as you can get without dropping off the end. Assuming the foot of the Unum Stage isn't taken up by its usual crop of lawn-chair loungers, you might even get a chance to trip the light fantastic on Riverfront Parkway.

Now doesn't that just sound like putting on the Ritz?

Contact staff writer Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.