A Voice Like Velvet
16 Dec, 2012
Close your eyes and you’ll swear Frank Sinatra is singing. Open them and take in the view. Up at Blu, it feels like I’m in a different city tonight, it feels like the Windy City.
I collided with Myles in the elevator and I recognized him (strangely enough) from the main stage at Homestead High School. He hasn’t changed much. Even back then, it was obvious that he was at home on the stage and behind the mic.
Tonight, he’s perched on a high stool in a tight configuration with a piano, bass and cymbals. He cradles the vintage silver slatted mic like precious cargo. Myles sings classic jazz and Christmas songs. His velvety voice is as smooth and warm as the whiskey pours being served at the bar. Blu was overflowing with people – strangers shared tables just to to stay and hear him sing.
During his break, we shared a cocktail at the bar and the took me through the abbreviated version of the past 15 years and I did the same. “I didn’t know I could sing jazz until a few years ago,” Myles admits, “But I was born to be a crooner baby!”
Myles comes to Milwaukee with his trio, aptly called the Myles Hayes Trio, once a month from Chicago to sing at Blu. He has regular gigs five nights a week in Chicago and he also works in a photo studio during the week. He’s extroverted and charming, embodying the laid-back attitude of his predecessors in the Rat Pack. Had Myles been alive back then, he surely would have fit right in.