Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 20th Caught In The Act

On July 20th, I proudly performed as part of the Jazz In July series at the 92nd St. Y in Manhattan's UES. Artistic Director Bill Charlap assembled an all-star band: Ken Peplowski, tenor and clarinet; Byron Stripling, trumpet; John Allred, trombone; Ted Rosenthal, piano; Bill Charlap, piano; Sean Smith, bass, and Lewis Nash at the drums. The program was titled "Hooray For Hollywood" and I got to sing four melodies I've always liked but never actually inserted in any set list ever (except for "As Time Goes By" which was the closer featuring all of the soloists).

In the first part of the show, I sang "When You Wish Upon A Star" from the 1940 animated Disney film "Pinocchio". In the movie, the song is sung by the insect character Jiminy Cricket, the sweet voice of Cliff Edwards doing the actual singing.

With the elegant assistance of John Allred on trombone, we channeled Lee Wiley's version of "Moon River" from her legendary cd "Back Home Again".

In Part II, I sang "The Days Of Wine And Roses" while standing beside handsome Byron Stripling whose trumpet gave the song gorgeous added texture, and then "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" as Ted Rosenthal played piano with great sensitivity, gracefully guiding me through the familiar, beloved changes. I can't begin to tell you what an immense pleasure it all was for me.

My good friend, main photographer/make-up man and Best Pal Eric Jacobs saw to it that my face and hair looked their best so that I strode on stage with confidence, and the audience was warm and welcoming, just as one has come to expect from the knowledgeable 92nd St. Y jazz fans. Thanks to everyone but especially darling Bill Charlap.

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