If you weren’t at Lizz Wright’s Wachovia Jazz concert at the Gaillard last night, you missed out in a big way; the Georgia-bred, New York-based singer is already on her way to her next gig in Oregon. Ballard’s got the low-down on the show with his review (he gave her an A-). Here’s a little excerpt:

  • “Highlights of the performance included deeply passionate renditions of oldie blues and soul songs, like Ike & Tina Turner’s “I Idolize You” and Sweet Honey in the Rock’s “Hey Mann,” during which the fellow in her heart “without consent” finally earned his place by the final chorus. The song’s conclusion provided one of the many moments of edge-of-the-seat suspense, with a long pause between Wright’s final note and a hesitant but boisterous splash of applause.”

The music was stellar, but what really stood out to us was Wright’s subtly glamorous style. Crooning into the microphone, she completely owned the sprawling Gaillard Auditorium, calling to mind classic chanteuses like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald … such a dramatic contrast to the theatrics of so many modern female singers. They really could learn a thing or two from Lizz. For example:

It’s all in the dress — literally. Wright wore a silvery gray strapless gown that dragged on the floor and hid her bare feet. You don’t have to be uncomfortable to be glamorous.

Relax. Wright looked at home on stage, her hand gestures, impromptu dancing, and occasional banter with the audience coming off as completely natural. Even the songs — which hit an incredible range of notes — seemed to slip from her lips without effort.

Temper the sexy with tame. Wright raised some eyebrows with some of her more sensual songs, but won the prudes over again with a gospel number.

It’s OK to sweat. At one point in the concert, she grabbed a towel and wiped off her face. Then again, maybe she was just glistening.