The Jennifer Keith Quintet

Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan, Jan. 12

This band’s residency is classing up an already-classy joint. On this night, the Southern California import commanded attention: Every seat around the bar was taken, and onlookers stood well into the casino floor. Looking like a pinup doll in a luscious red cocktail dress, Keith exuded an elegance bordering on fragility. However, when she belted out a variety of retro material, she revealed a surprisingly husky and powerful voice. Keith’s sound is reminiscent of glamorous yet earthy singers Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith. Her poise and energy level through four 45-minute sets were admirable, as she seemed to come alive as the midnight hour approached, shimmying between stanzas of Cole Porter’s “Anything Goes.”

The band, including Royal Crown Revue co-founder Mando Dorame on tenor saxophone, added some interesting new choices to familiar standards. They also had some standout moments the few times Keith would take a “break” to stroll about the lounge area and greet guests. Their rendition of Bill Doggett’s “Honky Tonk” demonstrated how these boys could rock as well as swing. At one point, couples were dancing in front of the stage.

This combination of old-school sounds with a dynamic lounge setting is a winning one. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

Bad Men

Bad Men

By Drew Grant

On Sunday night, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were making history as the first two women to successfully elbow out a male host for the Golden Globes, audiences took in an unprecedented display of girl power. With Lena Dunham winning for Best Actress in a Comedy, Girls taking Best Comedy, and Julianne Moore winning for Game Change, we trumpeted a new era … one in which women could not only captivate an audience but do so with an unlikable protagonist. (Hannah Horvath is no Tony Soprano, but she can be plenty unappealing at times.)