I saw Nellie McKay at Jazz Alley on Tuesday night and, just like the last time I saw her play live, I left feeling like I'd been in the room with some kind of mad superhuman genius. She zooms between jazz piano and reggae ukulele, her new and old work and some well-chosen covers (her version of Loretta Lynn's "One's on the Way" is brilliant), she tells weird jokes, and she's just such a performer as much as she is a musician. She feels decidedly old-school and still perfectly modern, mocking politics, mocking herself, doing "the Tom Waits version!" of her most Blossom Dearie-ish songs, then pivoting into straightforward pop songs and jazz ditties.
A real highlight was "Mother of Pearl," which I'd somehow never heard before. There's a lot of video of her singing it on the internet, because it's funny as shit, but here's one that's the closest to how she did it this week. Enjoy!