Concert Review: Ann Hampton Callaway

Cabaret Jazz, Jan. 17


Photo by Wayne Posner

What a gorgeous-looking, gorgeous-sounding club Cabaret Jazz is, nestled jewel-like inside the Smith Center. A Babs fan since childhood, I uneasily anticipated Broadway and TV veteran Callaway’s tribute The Streisand Songbook. But any concern that the evening would be trifling disappeared the moment Callaway and her extraordinary band—Christian Jacob (piano), Trey Henry (bass), MB Gordy (drums)—buoyantly dug into “Starting Here, Starting Now.” Jazz-heavy “A Sleepin’ Bee” (lyrics by Truman Capote) followed, then Callaway smolderingly delivered the world’s ultimate torch song, “Cry Me a River,” Jacob’s chromatic solo fraying my heart. “Down With Love” was dynamite. Overall the show was less about Babs than about the great songwriters who served her. Callaway was amiable, funny, in stellar voice. Her story about Fed-Ex-ing her songs to Babs was delightful. Unlike most fans, I don’t care for the abstract lyrics of signature tunes “People” and “Memories,” but Callaway nailed them, the packed venue’s audience standing in ovation. ★★★✩✩

Photos by Wayne Posner







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