Jan. 9: Melba Moore

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Melba Moore

I Got Love

January 9, 2016 @ 9:30 pm

Feinstein’s/54 Below
254 W. 54th St., NYC

Melba-Moore-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Here’s Joel Benjamin’s review of Melba’s 2014 show:

Melba Moore, the Tony Award-winning singer, threw herself a much-deserved birthday celebration at the Metropolitan Room and provided her own entertainment. This amazing survivor proved that her vocal talents are not only undimmed, but richer than ever.

 She made her intentions clear with her first song, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Styne/Merrill).

Her jazz bona fides were proven in an eloquent “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” (Ellington/Mills) and a passionate, languorous “Stormy Weather” (Arlen/Koehler).

As she spoke of her Broadway career she sang songs from Hair—“Aquarius,” “Easy to Be Hard,” “Let the Sunshine In” (MacDermot/Rado/Ragni)—in fresh arrangements, leading directly to her second show, Purlie, from which she sang a staggeringly exciting “I Got Love” (Gary Geld/Peter Udell), soaring into the high notes with a glee that belied her age. A “Motown Medley” also brought out the youthful qualities in her voice.

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Her 98-year-old stepfather, pianist Clem Moorman, got up to play “Happy Birthday,” but also managed a swinging “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” (Ellington/Bob Russell), without the benefit of sheet music.

She ended with “Lean on Me,” a plea for belonging, which she gave a particularly passionate reading.

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The members of her band, all of whom had long, virtuoso solos, included Musical Director Levi Barcourt, Rodney Harrison (bass), and Leon Dorsey (drums).