When Sarah Partridge recorded her debut album, I’ll Be Easy to Find (USA Music Group: 1998), the New York Daily News’ Sidney Zion wrote about “the magic of a new girl in town,” and Calling Cabaret’s William Wolf described her as someone with “a striking voice, insight into how to interpret lyrics, and a vibrant personality that communicates a sense of fun, wit, and style.”
Partridge established herself as an excellent performer of classics from the American Songbook as well as blues-tinged jazz standards – songs such as Hoagy Carmichael and Johnny Mercer’s “Skylark” and Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler’s “I’ve Got a Right to Sing the Blues’. Then, in 2014 she released I Never Thought I’d Be Here (Origin), an album that featured nine of her original compositions. Reviewing the album for AllAboutJazz, C. Michael Bailey wrote, “Partridge takes the reins and guides her instrumental quintet through a decade of originals characterized by expansive and memorable melodies grounded with impressive arrangement and performance chops. Partridge’s composing harkens back to a Broadway base. Her songs have a bigness about them . . .”
That album was followed by Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian, another Origins recording, released in 2017. Jersey Jazz’s Joe Lang confessed that he “was not familiar with the music of Janis Ian,” prior to listening to the album. “Partridge,” he wrote, “is in fine form on her vocals, powerful, assured and committed.” He gave a special shout out to “A Quarter Past Heartache,” a Partridge/Ian collaboration, saying it was one of the songs “with the most jazzy feeling.”
On Sunday, January 15, Partridge will be the featured performer at the New Jersey Jazz Society’s Jersey Jazz LIVE! concert at the Madison, NJ, Community Arts Center. The repertoire, she said, will be “a mix of standards and some of my original compositions. So, I guess it’s sort of an ‘Old Meets New’ concert.” She will be accompanied by the trio of Tomoko Ohno on piano, Rick Crane on bass, and Steve Johns on drums.
The opening act at Jersey Jazz LIVE! will be the Brick as a Feather Trio featuring Samvit Prem Singhal of New Providence, NJ, on piano, Mad Jupiter of East Windsor on bass, and Luke Tan of Edison on drums. All three are members of the New Jersey Youth Symphony Jazz Orchestra. Singhal attends New Providence High School; Jupiter is a student at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School; and Tan attends Wardlaw + Hartridge School in Edison.
The Madison Community Arts Center is located at 10 Kings Road in Madison, NJ. Admission to this event will be $10 for members and $15 for non-members payable at the door with cash or credit card. There will be light refreshments for purchase. Proof of vaccination is required; masks are optional. Funding for the NJJS Socials has been made possible, in part, by funds from Morris Arts though the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/ Department of State, a partner agency of The National Endowment for the Arts.
PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER DRUKKER