Storm Large performing in South Orange

10.31.14
Storm Large
The Daily Record

By Ed Condran 

Storm Large is not the fabricated name of a meteorologist. Storm Large is the perfect moniker for a charismatic singer-songwriter with a larger-than-life stage persona. The musician/playwright/actor, who was named Susan Storm Large 45 years ago looks like a younger, prettier, punkier version of actress Kim Cattrall of “Sex and the City” fame.

Large, who is 6 feet tall in her bare feet (“It doesn’t make it easier when it comes to dating,” Large cracked) stands out in other ways. Large, who will perform Saturday at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, scored national notice during the run of the reality competition show “Rock Star: Supernova” in 2006.

“I was hired to be the hot blonde and I had fun with it,” Large said. “I like going out and taking chances.”

That’s an understatement. Large, who shares lead vocal duties with China Forbes in Pink Martini, is touring behind her latest solo album, “Le Bonheur,”

Eclectic doesn’t quite cover her album of covers, save the final cut, “Stand Up For Me,” which was penned by Large. Large rocks out to such standards as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “The Lady is a Tramp.” She tries her luck with a reverential take on “Unchained Melody” and she lightens up the ultra-heavy Black Sabbath classic “N.I.B.”

“I like having fun up there,” Large said. “I love great material.”

“Le Bonheur” is filled with classic cuts and Large delivers each tune with undeniable style. “How can you not love what Storm does?” Forbes said. “She’s an original.”

Large has impressed with Pink Martini, which seemed to have been set with the sublime Forbes. However, Forbes took a leave of absence in 2011 due to vocal cord surgery and Pink Martini decided to continue. The group asked Large to join.

“When the offer arrived I didn’t want to do it,” Large recalled. “But (pianist) Thomas (Lauderdale) insisted. I said, ‘I never heard your music.’ He said it didn’t matter. And he was right. I love it.”

Pink Martini is an eccentric Portland-based band that mixes jazz, pop, Latin and lounge.

“There is no other group like Pink Martini,” Large said. “It’s such a challenge. I slept with ear buds in when I was studying the music. I had to learn to sing in French, Croatian and Japanese, but it was well worth it. Their music is wonderfully varied.”

Fans know how much Large likes to mix it up with Pink Martini and solo. “I like to keep it interesting when I sing,” Large said.