Jeff Blumenkrantz Cooks — And Cooks

February 15, 2010

Jeff Blumenkrantz just released a new episode of his songwriting podcast.  And hip-hooray! It features a song called “Valentine” giving singers a very plausible holiday alternative to “My Funny Valentine” (see below).

Also, it seems that Mr. Blumenkrantz  has been working his way through the recipes in Martha Stewart’s Cooking School.  And, of course, he’s been blogging about it.

Happy (Late) Valentine’s Day

February 15, 2010

The classic cabaret joke:

Q: How many singers does it take to sing My Funny Valentine ?

A: All of them !

Stephen Holden on Nicole Henry

February 15, 2010

A Valentine from the NyTimes: Ms. Henry, who gave a Valentine’s weekend performance on Saturday to a packed house at the club, tilts a little more toward jazz. Her singing is free of the flowery melismas that became a ubiquitous pop cliché in the 1990s and threatened to turn singing into a mindless gymnastic exercise. Her sound is also devoid of the kind of scat improvisations that many ambitious jazz singers unfortunately feel obligated to shoehorn into their performances to certify a usually bogus kinship with Ella Fitzgerald.

Making a song an anthem

February 15, 2010

Fascinating article in the Globe and Mail about the way a musical notion got transofrmed into a heavily-hyped Olympic anthem.

Playbill Online: The Story of a Lovely Lady

February 12, 2010

Florence Henderson In college, while other politcally-active students joined Young Americans for Freedom, I joined a different YAF, Young Americans for Florence whose slogan was “The chick has got a certain Wessonality.”  Playbill Online has a great interview with the star, currently doing her one-woman show at Joe’s Pub, who has a more serious Broadway background than many people know.

Stephen Holden on Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano

February 12, 2010

The NYTimes weighs in on the couple’s latest offering at the Algonquin: “Although it has its share of lovey-dovey moments, “This Thing Called Love,” Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano’s Valentine’s Day show at the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel does not succumb to the usual seasonal clichés of throbbing hearts and flowers and kissy-poo cuteness. The program is a witty, his-and-hers exploration of romantic chemistry by a couple whose musical portrayal of their five-year marriage goes out of its way to celebrate each partner’s individuality.”

Stephen Holden on Hilary Kole

February 12, 2010

The NYTimes on the torch singer: ”

Prefacing her impeccable performance of “The Folks Who Live on the Hill” on Wednesday evening at Birdland, Hilary Kole remarked that the approach singers take to this dream of wedded bliss, composed by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, tends to depend on age and experience.

“For ingénues, she suggested, the vision of building “a home on a hilltop high” and raising a family is a sweetly starry-eyed encapsulation of every young couple’s fantasy of happily ever after. But for older singers — in particular Peggy Lee, who recorded what many regard as the definitive version when she was in her late 30s — it evokes a wistful fairy-tale dream that didn’t come true.”

Goodbye to John Dankworth

February 11, 2010

Sad news about the passing of British jazz legend and Mr. Cleo Laine, John Dankworth.

The problem with high heels in the snow…

February 11, 2010

Sadly, the snow is forcing the cancellation of Christy Trapp’s show, Red High Heels at Maggie’s Cabaret Friday night.  I’ll post the date when it gets re-scheduled.


Michael Feinstein Interview in

February 11, 2010

Great interview and narrated slideshow iwth Michael Feinstein in 

My previous manager asked me what I wanted to achieve in my career that I hadn’t. I told him that I had a fantasy of having a nightclub but was mindful of the fact that every entertainer I knew who had a nightclub had not been successful, from Bobby Short to Julie Wilson to Chita Rivera. He suggested approaching the Regency Hotel because I had played private events for the Tisch family, which owns it, and liked them a great deal, and they were very receptive to opening a club. Because of their interest we were able to open Feinstein’s. And it’s been 10 years now.