NY Music Review by Sandi Durell
Michael Feinstein, keeper of the Great American Songbook torch, continues to carry its flame as he presented an all Cole Porter evening of music at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Appel Room for three performances on May 14th and 15th.
The powerful, mellow crooner opened at the piano singing songs from Porter’s Broadway Melody of 1940, “I Got My Eyes on You” and “From This Moment On,” followed by his usual insightful historical wisdom about the composer’s life, delivered in his always witty humor-filled style. Did you know that Jimmy Stewart sang one of Porter’s most well known standards “You’d Be So Easy to Love” introduced in the 1936 film Born to Dance, sung by Mr. F in a rendition that showed off the liquidity and flow of his mellifluous vocals from full power to glorious falsetto.
The evening featured guest artists including the marvelous Marilyn Maye, always stunning to hear and behold in a Bob Mackie original, offering up her own brand of wit, charm and vocal nuance with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “I Concentrate on You.”
Cole Porter loved Ethel Merman and wrote for her, giving Mr. Feinstein the opportunity to tell some Merman stories, jokes and have some fun mimicking before launching into a swinging “Begin the Beguine.”
The inimitable Vince Giordano and The Nighhawks’ 11 pieces, backed the singers, featuring Vince on bass and tuba, with Peter Yarin on piano, Vince and the band soloing in a musical version of “Let’s Misbehave.”
The highlight of the night was Michael Feinstein himself delivering all 6 choruses of Porter’s delicious lyric list “Can Can,” without missing a beat!
On June 11th, Michael Feinstein explores “Legends of the Jazz Age” at the Appel Room featuring Kevin Mahogany and Ann Hampton Callaway.
*Photos: Maryann Lopinto