Mick Jagger belting "Satisfaction" in front of the Danish Accordion Orchestra? Placido Domingo rhapsodizing Puccini over backing from the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra?
With some serious effort, you might be able to invent a more wonderfully batty musical conglomeration than veteran folk singer Odetta pulled off at the end of her performance Saturday with the Orange County Symphony of Garden Grove, an upwardly mobile community orchestra that's been moving from light classics into heavier music in recent seasons.
Having first extended a challenge ("If there's anyone in the orchestra who wants to join me . . ."), Odetta launched a cappella into "Black Woman," a lament that, like most of the music she's sung for the past four decades, reached back nearly a century to seminal forms of America's black music: in this case, field hollers and country blues.
After a couple of verses, a drummer and upright bassist sneaked in behind her resonant voice, then a single intrepid fiddler began sawing some credibly bluesy licks.
That moment worked better than most of the seven other numbers that she and conductor Edward Peterson's orchestra had performed together earlier, largely because the very spontaneity of it finally captured the musical spirit and freedom they'd been hovering around all evening.
On her own in a too-brief 25-minute set, in which she accompanied herself on guitar for a handful of traditional folk tunes, Odetta sang with a purity and passion that belied her 60 years.
The orchestra opened its Americana-laden pops concert, held in the newly renovated 2,100-seat Pearson Park Amphitheatre, with several numbers, including Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." Odetta gave a powerfully straightforward narration of the text, consisting of selections of some of Abraham Lincoln's most inspired writings and speeches.