By Sandi Durell
Two things happen when you have an opportunity to see the marvelous Marilyn Maye at Dizzy’s . . . the glamorous flickering lights of the New York cityscape provides the sensational backdrop. And, as gorgeous as it is, it all pales in comparison to the presence of the great lady herself, the ultimate jazz singer who sparkles even more. Yes, that’s Marilyn Maye who “Happens to Like New York” and every song that enhances her opening medley . . . “My Personal Property/ New York, New York (a Helluva Town) / New York State of Mind. . .” as each resonates in its own tempo.
Mostly, her songs are all about love because that’s the place from which she performs . . . her soul is deep with emotions that speak to us in numerous ways and her ability to share and make it sizzle with reality is why she is the great and marvelous Marilyn Maye.
So, whether we’re caught up in the vital “What The World Needs Now” (marveling at the ebb and flow of the notes that move effortlessly through the scales) or happily enmeshed in Lerner & Loewe’s nostalgic tunes from My Fair Lady (delightfully presented with flair, sexy innuendos and comedic overtones), or the touching, sometimes sad, “Why Did I Choose You” and “That’s All,” we are all moved and marvel at the energy and power of one person who consistently makes us feel better . . . about life, the world and ourselves. And that’s what differentiates performers.
Of course, we can listen for hours to the stories each song conveys – – “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” – Johnny Mercer’s collection of swing, jazz waltz and playfulness (“You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby”/”Jeepers Creepers” . . .
The addition of “Hallelujah” and Ray Charles . . . yes, Maye singin’ Ray . . . and you want to get up and shout and we do!
The brilliance of Brubeck’s “Take Five” – allows everyone on stage a shining moment; from cool Tedd Firth on the ivories to Phil Palombi on bass and the soft hands of Todd Strait on drums – a concert in and of itself!
Alas, I can’t give you anymore Dizzy dates because I attended the last night on February 23 but I do know that each of the prior evenings beginning February 21 were sold out, standing room only.
Happily, however, we’re all in for a treat when Marilyn Maye celebrates her next birthday – 92 and I’m Not Through! April 8 thru April 17 at Feinstein’s/54 Below (Tickets: 646 476-3551)
Video: Magda Katz
Photos: Kevin Alvey