Gabrielle Stravelli

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Gabrielle Stravelli

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, October 6, 2015

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Gabrielle-Stravelli-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Gabrielle Stravelli, in her debut show at Feinstein’s/54 Below, continues to establish herself as one of today’s premiere jazz vocalists. She is a true jazz singer, bringing her own personal interpretations to classics from the Great American Songbook and brand new songs. In addition, Stravelli’s unique phrasing works nicely with her quite beautiful sound. She is a very clever lyricist whose words, which are included in her current show.

, stand up well with those of Johnny Mercer, Sammy Cahn and E.

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Y. Harburg .

Stravelli opened with a jazzy “You Taught My Heart to Sing” to which she added her own lyrics to those of Sammy Cahn (music: McCoy Tyner). Her facial expressions and use of the verse, which I had never heard, made her performance of “Too Close for Comfort” memorable. She showed off her multi-octave range with “Midnight Sun.” A listener to my radio program once called in to tell me that she loved when I played songwriters singing their own songs because “They sing from their kishkes.” Stravelli belted her kishkes out, on her lyrics for “Prism” with a melody she co-wrote with her bass player (and fiancé), Pat O’Leary. Pianist Joshua Richman’s solo added to my enjoyment of Stravelli’s composition “Didn’t You Tell Me.

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” She displayed her funny side with an amusing “A Fine Romance” that had the audience laughing. Her truly luscious sound worked magically on “Skylark.

” Stravelli even got the audience to join in, on her uproarious closing number, “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead.” Drummer Eric Halvorson helped drive the show’s closing number: a medley of “You’re Everything” and “You and I.” Stravelli’s encore, “I’ll Take Romance,” left the very enthusiastic audience cheering.

Ron Forman

Ron Forman has been a Mathematics Professor at Kingsborough Community College for 45 years. In that time, he has managed to branch out in many different areas. From 1977 to 1994 he was co-owner of Comics Unlimited, the third largest comic book distribution company in the USA. In 1999,after a lifetime of secretly wanting to do a radio program, he began his weekly Sweet Sounds program on WKRB 90.3 FM, dedicated to keeping the music of the Great American Songbook alive and accessible. This introduced him to the world of cabaret, which led to his position as a reviewer for Cabaret Scenes.