Madison has a lot of jazz vocalists for a town its size, but Michelle DuVall is the only one with a residency on the Mickey's Tavern patio. At those gigs, which take place the second and fourth Thursday of each month, she usually forms a stripped-down trio with guitarist Doug Brown and bassist Nick Moran. She'll change things up at Isthmus Jazz Fest, where she'll front the eight-piece band Get Down, Mr. Cat! at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.
DuVall answered some questions for Isthmus before the performance.
What can you do in Get Down, Mr. Cat! that you can't do with Nick and Doug, and vice versa?
It's a little tighter and more arranged-sounding when we do the eight-piece band.... It has a fuller sound. Some of the tunes I love in particular are "Nice Work If You Can Get It" and "Someone to Watch Over Me."
How do you put an individual stamp on your jazz vocals?
My approach has always been keeping it pretty straight-ahead, keeping it true to form. I don't do a lot of scatting. I don't play with the melodies very much. But it still swings.
What projects would you like to try that you haven't gotten to yet?
I really want to get back into the recording studio and do more vocal harmonizing.