Bettye LaVette

In her fifth decade as a mistress of soul

Anyone who owns a copy of Bettye LaVette’s 2007 album The Scene of the Crime knows it’s an incredibly draining yet invigorating experience. That’s because LaVette sings each song of lost love, lingering heartbreak, and newfound joy as if it were her last. The disc is a triumph, more exciting and mature than just about anything else on the market—the work of a woman who’s seen it all and lived to tell about it. Although LaVette recorded her first single in 1962 and released several albums in the intervening 45 years, she’s only recently found widespread success. Better late than never. Her two-night stint at Jazz Alley should draw a combination of old blues soldiers and the newly converted masses. Rumor has it LaVette’s a revelation live, so get to the Alley early for a good table. Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave., 441-9729, $24.50. 7:30 p.m. Tues., March 18-Wed., March 19. FRANK PAIVA

March 18-19, 2008