Steve Tyrell at The Cafe Carlyle - New York City Article
The Café Carlyle
35 E 76th Street, (212) 744-1600
Through Saturday April 14
Each time Steve Tyrell comes out with a new album, as with his latest, A Song For You, he comes closer and closer to what seems to be a long-term goal of pleasing absolutely everybody, from listeners who like Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer to those who prefer Leon Russell and Van Morrison. With most artists that would be their downfall - it likely means that they’re spreading themselves too thin and ultimately pleasing no one, but with Mr. Tyrell, this is a major strength. He has the advantage of having been an accomplished producer long before his current career as a singer took off (after he sang “The Way You Look Tonight” in the 1991 movie Father of the Bride) and knows well how to blend the disparate elements of various generations, even if they’re not generally acknowledged as being congruous with each other. He uses a soul-influenced approach to the classic standards, like Otis Redding doing “Try a Little Tenderness” or Ray Charles doing “Come Rain or Come Shine,” but at the same time, a more traditional crooning style on contemporary material like “Someone Like You” or “A Song for You.” It’s all a coherent whole, one which now includes country-and-western ballads as well (would love to hear him tackle a whole album of Nashville love songs at some point), that deserves to be enjoyed for both its consistency and its diversity. I first heard him sing Van Morrison’s “Someone Like You” at the Carlyle during his annual Holiday run last December; even then it struck me as my personal favorite-ever number by him, and now hearing it again, both on the new album and during this brief five-night run here in New York (during what’s supposed to be Spring) only confirms that earlier judgement.
photo: David Andrako
Author: Will Friedwald
Will Friedwald writes about music and popular culture for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, VANITY FAIR and PLAYBOY magazine and reviews current shows for THE CITIVIEW NEW YORK. He also is the author of nine books, including the award-winning A BIOGRAPHICAL GUIDE TO THE GREAT JAZZ AND POP SINGERS, SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU, STARDUST MELODIES, TONY BENNETT: THE GOOD LIFE, LOONEY TUNES & MERRIE MELODIES, and JAZZ SINGING. He has written over 600 liner notes for compact discs, received ten Grammy nominations, and appears frequently on television and other documentaries. He is also a consultant and curator for Apple Music.
SINATRA: THE SONG IS YOU - NEW REVISED EDITION (Chicago Review Press, May 2018)