An Evening With Bobby Short At The Carlyle
Alex Udvary | chicago, il United States | 09/16/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"To many people Bobby Short exemplified sophistication and wit. To see him live at the Cafe Carlyle was to take a trip down memory lane. A time when people dressed up when they went out. Men wore suits and tuxedos, women wore evening gowns. You also had the pleasure of hearing some of the greatest songs ever written from the likes of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Rogers & Hart, Noel Coward and Harold Arlen. Where else could one go and see an entertainer, of the stature of Short, and hear such songs?
I had the honor, and I do consider it an honor, of seeing Bobby Short at the Cafe Carlyle. In fact I saw him twice. No record can really capture the feeling of being in the room, I've been slightly disappointed with some of his "live" albums, but "Bobby Short Live at the Cafe Carlyle" does have some bright moments, and at time we can sense the joy that filled the room.
One of the reasons I haven't enjoyed Short's "live" albums is if you notice he usually sings too many slow songs. When you do that you run the risk of boring an audience. You have to mix things up a bit and throw in some up-tempo tunes. Listen to Short's "Late Night At The Cafe Carlyle" album, every song, with the exception of two, are slow. So far the best "live" album I've heard is called "Songs of New York".
Short does start things off with a bright up-scale tune called "Real Live Girl" written by Cy Coleman, who also recently passed away. Short then follows that up with "Miss Brown To You", a song I personally associate Billie Holiday with. It too is up-scale.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting Bobby Short did not how to sing a slow song, he did. I especially like a Stephen Sondheim tune called "Losing My Mind", which I'd never heard before.
The program can be summed up by naming three composers; Cole Porter, Sondheim and Harold Arlen. Porter tunes consist of "Mister and Missus Fitch", a funny little tune, "All of You" Short sings some lyrics I never heard before, "Let's Misbehave" I like the song but didn't care for Short's arrangement but did like "I Get A Kick Out Of You", "Miss Otis Regrets" and finally "I Happen To Like New York". The Sondheim tunes are as mentioned "Mind" plus "Sorry-Grateful" and "Send in the Clowns". I was a bit surprised to hear Short sing Sondheim, I didn't think he had the right voice of those tunes but he handles them pretty well. And Arlen tunes include "Ill Wind", "One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)" and "I've Got The World On A String".
Bobby Short fans should enjoy the album, though it seems to no longer be available on CD. I bought a copy of the LP. If you really want to hear this album you may have to do the same. New York's nightlife will never quite be the same now that the master is gone.
Bottom-line: Pretty good "live album" that doesn't quite capture the feeling of seeing Short live but it does have some bright moments. Interesting song selection makes the album worthwhile for Short fans."