By Sandi Durell
The Grammy winning Renaissance man has returned to the Café Carlyle for his twelfth season – now a long time tradition in the month of December thru New Year’s Eve. Steve Tyrell is like a best friend who’s come to your house to sing for you. He exudes an easy, comfortable style and personable manner and is really passionate about the songs he presents, telling the story and focusing on the lyrics.
The holiday show is a combination of some of the great American Songbook’s best songwriters – songs of the season and just best of the best! You can’t argue with Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” or “Vernon Duke/Ira Gershwin’s “I Can’t Get Started” or “Am I Blue?” (Harry Akst, Grant Clarke – Clarke played piano and wrote songs for Al Jolson). From swing to ballad, Tyrell has a knack of digging in so you can’t help but sit up and take notice. He also likes to change a lyric, here and there, such as “On The sunny Side of the Street” (Fields, McHugh) . . . if I never have a cent, I’d be rich as that Trump fella . . . and it even went into the movie Father of the Bride that way – the movie that launched his new career from record producer/musical supervisor to a most sought after singer! He’s recorded nine albums of American Standards and next up is a tribute album to brother Ray . . . Ray Charles that is due in 2017.
If you want to take to the road, no better group than Tyrell and his band of merrymaker musicians on highlight “Hit the Road Jack” – down n’ dirty and filled with fun. Talking musicians, and we’re talking top of the line here, the incomparable Quinn Johnson is on piano and as musical director, with David Finck on bass, Bob Mann on guitar, Kevin Winard on drums, David Mann on sax and flute and Jon Allen on keyboards and vocals. Special kudos to the genius of Bob Mann, as arranger, for making the songs perk up and sound fresh and new – just listen to some of those chord interpretations!
In between, is chat time with the audience as Steve Tyrell talks about his daughters and three grandchildren, and regales with tidbits about the celebrities in his life. He recently produced Kristin Chenoweth’s “The Art of Elegance” album, making its mark on the Billboard charts as #1 and (for the third year in a row) will soon be celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 101st birthday on Sirius XM’s Seriously Sinatra channel with a 3 hour broadcast from Patsy’s. Expect many celebs to join in. More announcements on this!
Meantime, get thee to the Café Carlyle for a feel-good evening of holiday songs, good food and so much more thru December 31. www.CafeCarlyle.com 212 744-1600 (35 East 76 Street/Madison Ave.)
Photos: David Andrako