By JON GARELICK  |  February 27, 2009

And then there was the singing. Cold or no, her dark low-register delivery was intact. Barber is, above all, a literate songwriter, and she wants you to hear every word, the hiss and click of sibilant and consonant. That articulation — and her timing — made Cole Porter lyrics like "On your mark/Get set/Get out of town" just about perfect, especially as Neal Alger's guitar nyah-nyah'd quietly in the background. Another tune from her latest album, The Cole Porter Mix (Blue Note), she introduced as "something Cole Porter and I wrote together," so we heard about "the cop/In the Kevlar armor." And then there was her own eerie "Snow": "Do you think of me like snow/Cool, slippery, and white?/Do you think of me like jazz/As hip, as black as night?" The band had just come down from one of the big drum rave-ups with Montzka, and that made the hush of "Snow" all the more dramatic. Yes, she could have sung a bit more in that set. But no one was complaining.

BAD TOUCH | Regattabar, Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge | March 3 @ 7:30 pm | $12 | 617.395.7757

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