A beautiful Afro-Parisian woman in a tight-fitting dress, beatboxing to Thelonious Monk. What's hotter than that? Last night at the Dakota Restaurant & Jazz Club, Mina Agossi was backed up by a French bass player and Japanese drummer, who she teasingly forced into singing toward the end of her second set.
You may not recognize her name. I didn't. But if Lowell Pickett—co-owner of the Dakota, who hears live music day in and day out—says within thirty seconds of listening to her CD he knew she was something special, well, that's one hell of a recommendation.
Her unique style and musical repertoire brought together elements of various musical genres, and she smoothly moved from throaty singing to Björk–style yelps to scatting. Last night she sang classic jazz by Ella Fitzgerald and Thelonious Monk—but spun to her own rhythm, of course—and even covered Jimi Hendrix's "Spanish Castle Magic."
But Agossi was almost more fun to watch than she was to hear. Her playful attitude was as seductive as it gets. She giggled between every song, and was sultry and sexy even as she scrunched her face to make wrinkles in her chin. Let's petition Pickett to bring her back.