Donny Most: Sings & Swings

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Donny Most

Sings & Swings

Catalina Jazz Club, Hollywood, CA, March 1, 2015

Reviewed by Les Traub for Cabaret Scenes

Donny-Most-Sings-&-Swings-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Donny Most left no doubt that his love of the Swing Era was genuine as he shared his reverence for Sinatra, Martin, Darin and the swingin’ bands behind them as he performed for a capacity crowd at Catalina Jazz Club. Musical Director/saxophonist Willie Scoppettone led a top-flight band of 17 musicians, including pianist Peter Smith, with arrangements that perfectly captured the sounds of that era.

Most performed familiar songs associated with his musical heroes and there was no evidence of the 30-year break he took from singing as he sounded fresh, strong and in the groove. Opening with an exuberant “Almost Like Being in Love,” he followed or introduced many of the songs with stories of how he came to the songs or what they meant to him. He was clearly having a great time and his enthusiasm raised the energy level in the room. Among the highlights was a tender “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” accompanied sensitively by Scoppettone before being joined by the rest of the wailing band.

Sarah Spiegel opened the show, getting everyone comfortably in the mood with several swing songs. Becky Martin guested in the middle of the show with a wonderfully ’40s sound on “Dream.”

Donny Most is at Rockwell Table & Stage 4/9.

Les Traub

Les Traub has been covering the cabaret scene for over twenty years. He is a co-founder and President of Cabaret West and has produced cabaret shows at the Jazz Bakery, Cinegrill, Gardenia, El Portal Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and at UCLA. He co-produced and wrote a Sammy Cahn tribute show at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. He is Chairman of the Board of Musical Theatre Guild, where he co- produced Sail Away, High Spirits, Little Mary Sunshine and Street Scene at the Alex Theatre. He has lectured on cabaret in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Connecticut. .