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Don Most

| May 14, 2016

Don Most

The E Spot Lounge, Studio City, CA, May 10, 2016

Reviewed by Mary Bogue for Cabaret Scenes

Don-Most-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212We could have been in the Copa Room at the Sands as Don Most came out swinging in every sense of the word. Entering from the house in a classic sharkskin-grey suit to a terrific arrangement of “Luck Be a Lady” (Frank Loesser), Most laid out as his 17-piece big band tore it up,  and immediately killed that big money note ending. 

It was all “Blue Skies” (Irving Berlin) with his velvet tone, uptempo, key changes, and in-your-face driving horns. Swinging on, this ambitious show of 19 songs showcased new material from his upcoming CD. Musical Director and arranger Willie Murillo would’ve made Count Basie proud with “Everyday I Have the Blues,” (Pinetop and Milton Sparks) as Most nailed it to the roof.

In classic landmark Sinatra style, Most vamped his way into the iconic “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (Cole Porter), delivered it with an uncanny Sinatra-like voice and a tender interpretation. His well-paced show spotlighted his perfect ability to convey ballads, like “I Can’t Get Started” with Quinn Johnson on piano, Charlie Peterson on trumpet and Lyman Maderios on bass. In counterpoint, the audience flipped over “Sent for You Yesterday and Here You Come Today” (Count Basie/Jimmy Rushing/Eddie Durham) as Donny set free the happy, energetic blues.

Joining Most in “C’est si bon” (Henri Betti/André Hornez/Jerry Seelen), Becky Martin was sweet and playful. Back to serious swingin’, Willie Murillo and Most shared vocals with four pieces from the band, pleasing the crowd with “Hit That Jive Jack” (Johnny Alston/Campbell “Skeets” Tolbert).

There was plenty more to love as Most shared his boyhood discovery of Bobby Darrin and Dean Martin, before his television career on Happy Days. His acting chops came in handy on the ballads and he made smart choices on his Latin take on “Let’s Fall in Love” (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler). I’m pretty sure his upcoming CD will give us plenty of happy nights, perfect for any cool cocktail parties serving Jack Daniels, with water and three ice cubes, à la Sinatra.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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