Las Vegas dynamo Clint Holmes is checked into the Café Carlyle thru the end of October and you don’t have to truck further for some serious hot swing and tender interpretations of the music of Bobby Short. There’s certainly an unending well of standards that made Short the king of the Carlyle. This homage is a musical look back and conjures up the romantic images of the many couples who fell in love at a Bobby Short evening, now able to revive the emotional tides.
Bobby Short was a saloon singer since the tender age of 10 emphasized by “Gimme a Pigfoot (And a Bottle of Beer) and “Truckin.” Soon after, he was wearing a tuxedo.
But the real guts of this show is Holmes’ ability to capture the essence of the songs with his energetic magnetism and well-experienced understanding of reciting a lyric, caressing each syllable and nuance, especially evident in the soulful, reflective “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” and “Tea for Two.” Holmes loves the elongated soaring notes which he produces effortlessly, i.e. in a powerful Latin interpretation of “Night and Day.” Holmes is,what is known as, an Entertainer.
The vocal ease with which Holmes creates sound is beautiful to the ear as he slips smoothly from dramatic powerhouse to quieter construal. For a little fun he included Novello’s witty “And Her Mother Came, Too” and the tune that catapulted Bobby Short to fame, his biggest hit “Charlie” – the perfume commercial – rewritten as “Bobby” by Holmes.
With abbreviated biographical information on Bobby Short, Holmes cleverly sets up his songs so as not to bore his audience, such as the loving rendition of “Autumn Leaves” in French. (Short had a home in France and loved being part of the culture).
When I saw Holmes perform at another venue in New York recently, I said “this man should be on Broadway.” I haven’t changed my opinion. He’s got the verve, voice and vigor and hopefully somebody is watching.
He’s accompanied by a top notch trio including Jeffrey Neiman (Musical Director/Piano); Jay Leonhart (Bass); Sherrie Maricle (Drums) and brought on the horn section later in the show for “Satin Doll” and “Just One of Those Things” in the spirit of the great Bobby Short, the horn players John Eckert (Trumpet), Mike Christianson (Trombone) and Patience Higgins (Saxophone/Flute) reliving their days on that same stage when they played with Short.
It’s all happening at the beautiful Café Carlyle on Madison Avenue (E. 76th St.) thru October 29.
www.carlyle.com 212 744-1600