While Barbara Morrison's 1973 arrival to the jazz and blues party was somewhat late, the singer has definitely lived it to the hilt. One of Los Angeles' top jazz vocalists, Morrison made her bones on the bandstand alongside the top names in music, performing with everyone from Johnny Otis to Ray Charles, Mel Torme and Dizzy Gillespie. But Morrison, who appears at Burbank's Joe's Great American Bar & Grill on May 26, remains an unassuming, modest and very down-to-earth character.
"I wasn't even into jazz until I moved to California," the 60-year-old Morrison said recently. "I'm from the Detroit area and grew up listening to a lot of Motown. And when I first got here, I was singing in a rock band called L.A. Smog Control. But I heard about an audition for a night club performer's job, at the Rubaiyat on Pico and Western. Everyone there was old enough to be my parents, but they were also playing the best music I'd heard in my life — and somehow I won the post."