Will's New York Nite Life

Will's New York Nite Life

Steve Tyrell at the Cafe Carlyle (2017)

Steve Tyrell at the Cafe Carlyle (2017)

Posted Dec 28, 2017

As has been observed before, the ironic thing about Steve Tyrell is that even though he’s easily one of the most successful living masters of the art of making records - both as a producer and a vocalist - he is even better when experienced live, especially in the warm, intimate setting of the Carlyle. This is more true than ever during the holiday season, when the sweet sensations of nostalgia for home and family and the good times of years gone by become even more palpable, as lovingly rendered by Mr. Tyrell with his mellow, delightfully raspy baritone.

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Cross That River: A Tale of the Black West @ 59E59

Cross That River: A Tale of the Black West @ 59E59

Updated Dec 26, 2017

Paula West @ Jazz at Lincoln Center

Paula West @ Jazz at Lincoln Center

Posted Dec 2, 2017

The San Francisco-based singer, who, alas, hasn’t played Jazz at Lincoln Center since 2013, herewith makes a triumphant return in New York. Miss West, who headlined at the Oak Room of the Algonquin for much of the previous decade, was at the time celebrated for bringing a touch of jazz to what was then New York’s most venerated cabaret room; now, she’s doing the opposite, bringing the lyric-driven spirit and humor of the best cabaret artists to the most visible jazz club in the country. Ms. West’s strengths are still the same, only stronger, not least of which is the ability to switch gears between such traditional jazz-and-cabaret fare as Rodgers and Hart (“Lover”) and more contemporary songsters, like John Lennon (“Gimme Some Truth”), while stopping at such iconclasts as Oscar Brown Jr. (“The Snake,” “Hum-Drum Blues”) along the way. A formidable swinger as well as a storyteller, she still delivers the most compelling interpretation of “Like a Rolling Stone” that I’ve ever heard, as well as of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “The Waters of March” - which, in her hands, is so soulful and personal that it could be titled “The Ethel Waters of March.”

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Steve Tyrell at Cafe Carlyle (2016)

Steve Tyrell at Cafe Carlyle (2016)

Updated Nov 30, 2017

By: Will Friedwald

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Peter & Will Anderson at the Appel Room (JALC): The Fabulous Dorsey Brothers

Peter & Will Anderson at the Appel Room (JALC): The Fabulous Dorsey Brothers

Updated Nov 30, 2017

How very fitting that the major brother act in contemporary swing music, the saxophone-playing Anderson Twins (Peter and Will) should celebrate the greatest brotherly team in the history of the big band era, the fabulous trombonist Tommy Dorsey and clarinetist-saxophonist Jimmy Dorsey. Like the Dorseys, the Andersons possess a unique combination of off-the-charts technical skills - all four brothers, both historic and current, are genuine, classical-level virtuosi - coupled with an equally immeasurable ability to swing and to entertain an audience. And, like the Dorseys before them, the Andersons know well the value of putting together a great band: in addition to the brothers themselves on all the reed instruments, there will be trumpeter Bruce Harris, pianist Jeb Patton, bassist Clovis Nicolas, drummer Aaron Kimmel, and two guest stars of Dorsey-esque proportions, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and vocalist Brianna Thomas. Expect to hear such Dorsey classics as “Marie,” “Song of India,” “So Rare,” and “Tangerine,” while I, for one, will refuse to leave the Appel Room until I hear Mr. Gordon and Ms. Thomas sing together on such classic boy-girl duets as “Yes Indeed” and “Green Eyes.”

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John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey  - The Little Things You Do Together

John Pizzarelli & Jessica Molaskey - The Little Things You Do Together

Posted Nov 8, 2017

Irving Berlin's THIS IS THE ARMY

Irving Berlin's THIS IS THE ARMY

Posted Nov 8, 2017

In 1942, Irving Berlin broke new ground with a remarkable revue of new songs (and comedy sketches) starring an all-military, all-male cast and featuring some of the legendary composer’s absolute greatest songs, like "This Is The Army, Mr. Jones," "I'm Getting Tired So I Can Sleep," "I Left My Heart at the Stage Door Canteen," "That's What the Well Dressed Man in Harlem Will Wear," and "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning." The production not only played Broadway, but then toured the country, was made into a stunning technicolor movie musical in Hollywood, and then was staged for the benefit of service audiences of both the European and Pacific fronts - for the first time, the theater of war became a theater for musical comedy. The show broke new ground in all kinds of ways, featuring an ensemble of freely-mixed African-American and Caucasian cast members (way before the Armed Forces were integrated), and even had cross-dressing soldiers, way before "don't ask, don't tell." Irving Berlin, who toured with the show even in some of the most dangerous places in the world, considered This is the Army one of the crowning achievements of his amazing career, and this 75th anniversary staging (the first time it’s been produced since WW2) will show us why.

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