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AJ Lambert

| December 31, 2017 | 0 Comments

AJ Lambert

Tom Rolla’s Gardenia, West Hollywood, CA, December 6, 2017

Reviewed by Les Traub for Cabaret Scenes

AJ Lambert

AJ Lambert’s tribute show to her grandfather, Frank Sinatra, is a very focused look at the Sinatra Songbook. She takes one album, in this case, the original vinyl In the Wee Small Hours, and performs the whole thing in exact track order. Her patter comes during the end of a side when it was time to flip the disc. Her memories of her grandfather, her relationship with him, and a portrait of him as a man form the basis of the patter. Her direct relationship with him covers the time from when she was a small child and skips forward to the September of his years. The reasons for the gap years are not discussed, but certainly can be inferred.

With music director John Boswell providing the wonderful arrangements and accompaniment, Lambert sticks to the feel of In the Wee Small Hours, but with her unique take on the songs. She has a beautiful voice and her own very natural phrasing ability that complements rather than imitates her grandfather’s masterful phrasing. Describing the album as an arc story of love and loss, she takes the title song in a slow and deliberate tempo and sets the mood for the evening. She gets to the heart of the lyrics with her voice and the expressive use of her arms and hands. Cleverly making use of the famous Gardenia mirrors, she begins the opening of “Glad to Be Unhappy”—”Look at yourself”—but turning to the mirrors for the first few lines before turning to face the audience.

Continuing through the album, Lambert successfully carries on the Sinatra legacy through her own interpretation of the material and her own performing abilities. One looks forward to the exploration of the rest of the Sinatra discography.

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

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