Michael Feinstein is always a joy to experience. His love for the American Song Book and his dedication to Ira and George Gershwin is legendary. Standard Time with Michael Feinstein brought Mr. Feinstein last night to Carnegie Hall. His performance was just another example of his passion, humor and talent. He has a masterful way with the audience and brings an intimacy to his performance, in spite of the spacious theatre, that is humanizing. Mr. Feinstein brings a kind-heartedness that reaches out to each member of the audience.
He is a gift to our time. I adore sharing in his knowledge and his non-academic style that allows us to discover historical data without feeling we’ve been to a lecture; quite the opposite. Mr. Feinstein weaves his vast information through the tapestry of his arrangements and leaves us with a sense of being part of the evening’s magic. This handsome and charming troubadour also brought a warmth that was most welcome on the cold February evening.
His stories of Fred Astarie were enhanced with musical whimsy and his performance of Danny Kaye’s “Russian Composers” was a fine example of Mr. Feinstein’s artistry.
Catherine Russell was special guest for the show. She is one of the finest jazz singers around today. She brings to her music a style that is uniquely her own. Ms. Russell has an understanding of what she does in relationship to her audience that transcends standard interpretation. She gets the Gershwin Brothers and she gives them to us with clarity.
The show was directed by the ever sensational Scott Coulter (a fantastic singer in his own right). Tedd Firth was musical director for the evening.