Friday, January 06, 2012

Marilyn by Request: Marilyn Maye at the Metropolitan Room

If you have never seen Marilyn Maye, really, what are you waiting for? She's an amazing jazz singer, a brilliant interpreter, and funny to boot. She's a delight to spend an evening with. She's a classic. Timeless. The real thing.

In her most recent show, at the Metropolitan Room, Maye combined her  thematic medleys and standards with requests from the audience. The result was a pot pourri of different forms of bliss. Consider this partial set list: Celebrate Good Times, Hey Old Friend, Too Good to Be True, Start of Something Big, I Love You Today, Too Late Now, I Don't Want to Know, Pennies From Heaven, It Might as Well Be Spring, If I Were a Bell, Bye Bye Country Boy, Take Five, and the Best of Time Is Now. Her wonderful, youthful (she's in her 80s!), throaty voice, her sense of emotional complexity and joy, and her seductive personality made each and every song a winner. Her backup band, led by Billy Stritch (who sang with her on a handful of numbers) provided smart, elegant accompaniment with the wonderful Tom Hubbard on bass and Ray Marchica on drums..

I wish there were a way to truly describe the experience of seeing Maye, but what can be stranger than trying to explain how someone sings, how they express emotion, how they make magic happen? It's kind of impossible.

But I can describe the audience's reactions: Hugh grins. Cheers. Bravas. Ecstasy.

Really, truly, you have to see Marilyn Maye.

(For Maye's schedule of upcoming dates, click here. For the Metropolitan Room's calendar, click here.)

(press ticket, audience left)

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