I saw Rufus Wainwright play at Taronga Zoo earlier this year, which was a much less gimmicky venue than I was expecting. I’ve been a fan of his since buying the album Poses in 2001 and the title track is still my candidate for favourite song of the century so far: and his rendition of it live was great.
I’m also nominating “Poses” because when I saw the Dave Douglas Quintet play at the Basement in around 2003 — one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to — he played a remarkably good take on it. Who was it who said that there are no jazz songs, just jazz versions of songs? I can’t find a version of it online, but that’s live music for you.
The importance of standards to jazz reminds me of Ethan’s great up-goer-five version of his guide to jazz: How Does Cool Music Work?