Monday, January 21, 2013

                        FEATURING DEE DANIELS

I had the great pleasure of attending the highly anticipated grand opening weekend of Bake’s Place Bellevue on Sunday, May 13.   This fine Eastside supper club, now residing in downtown Bellevue, accommodates a large seating capacity of 100 while retaining the “living room” feel of the old Bake’s Place in Issaquah.   Free courtesy parking is available in the Columbia West Building, where it is located, and two greeters at the door personally extended a warm welcome to me, creating a most engaging first impression.

The featured artist was none other than internationally acclaimed jazz chanteuse Dee Daniels whose endearing wit and charm delighted sold-out crowds for three consecutive nights beginning Friday, May 11.  She literally brought the house down with her smokin’ brand of gospel and blues-infused vocals, and was perfectly augmented by a stellar combo comprised of bassist Chuck Deardorf, drummer D’Vonne Lewis, saxophonist Brian Kent and pianist Tony Foster.  Together and as soloists, they embellished every song with just the right amount of rhythmic audacity and melodic intention.  Dee’s 90-minute set showcased her extraordinary range and velvety, impassioned tones, and spanned a variety of styles with heartfelt renditions of Frank Sinatra’s swinging signature tune “That’s Life”, Earth, Wind and Fire’s inspirational soul classic “You Can’t Hide Love”, and the captivating Billie Holiday standard “Love for Sale”.

The musicality of Dee Daniels and her fabulous group was truly an inspiration in such a splendid setting as “Bake’s Place on Bellevue’s South Side”, as Dee teasingly put it.  I was immediately taken by the hushed, intimate ambiance of the room with its general layout being very conducive to superior listening.  Looking out of the beautiful floor to ceiling windows, one saw a gorgeous patio with colorful umbrellas, perfect for accompanying guests in the warm spring and summer days.  Equally impressive were the gracious hospitality of their world-class staff, the wonderful service, and an exquisite array of succulent cuisine specialties!

Bake’s Place owners Craig and Laura Baker have done a marvelous job ushering in Bellevue’s newest venue, and their eclectic range of live music offerings is sure to entice many concert goers throughout the region.  They welcome you to check out and enjoy an incredible musical and culinary experience with them any day of the week!

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