Birdland, NYC, March 4, 2017
Reviewed by Peter Haas for Cabaret Scenes
Lovers of elegant jazz piano and vocalizing have long saved and savored their early Saturday evenings flocking to Birdland. The attraction: the one and only Barbara Carroll. Now that she has passed, so has the torch—and it burns brightly and warmly at the hands of the pianist, singer and very knowledgeable Eric Comstock.
With Sean Smith backing on bass, Comstock, clearly enjoying himself, performed a generous program of 19 songbook favorites, to continuing audience smiles and applause. On tap were classics by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart (“How Can You Forget?,” “This Can’t Be Love” and the perky “Mountain Greenery”); a taste of the Gershwins (“Who Cares?”), and Lane and Lerner (“Too Late Now”). A hint of Sinatra was Comstock’s performance of “All the Way” (Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn), while the audience was given a trip to Latin America (by way of Tin Pan Alley) through such numbers as “You Don’t Have to Know the Language,” (Van Heusen and Johnny Burke), “Manhã de Carnaval” (Luiz Bonfá and Antônio Maria) and “Living on Dreams” (Antonio Carlos Jobim and Susannah McCorkle). Smith came center stage with a bass solo of his own work, “Homemade Japanese Folk Song.”
Eric’s schedule for appearing in this new series at Birdland is still in formation. It will be most worth your while to keep checking—and attending.