Steve Tyrell: A Song for You

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Steve Tyrell

A Song for You

Café Carlyle, NYC, April 10, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Steve Tyrell
Photo: David Andrako

It is not surprising that this is the 14th consecutive year that Steve Tyrell has appeared at the Café Carlyle. He is a dynamic performer, extremely confident on stage, with a unique sound and a smile that is contagious. He brings a rhythm-and-blues touch to some of the best love songs of the Great American Songbook. He was thoroughly entertaining for his 90 minutes on stage, mixing interesting anecdotes and funny stories gathered from his more than 50-year career in the music business.

After opening with “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” his finger pointing had every female in the audience thinking that he was singing “It Had to Be You” to her.

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A story about working with Otis Redding led into his performance of “Try a Little Tenderness,” which Redding had recorded. Many of the night’s selections Tyrell performed were from his latest recording, A Song for You, including the title song and homages to Etta James and Billie Holiday with “A Sunday Kind of Love” and “Them There Eyes.” He told a funny story about being hired by a mob guy who requested “Come Rain or Come Shine.” Tyrell told an emissary of the guy, “I don’t do requests.” The flunkie’s response: “I would advise you to sing both.

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” Music director Quinn Johnson did a Fats Waller-type solo on piano, leading into Tyrell’s performance of “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

As a 19-year-old Tyrell worked on recording sessions with Burt Bacharach, Hal David, and Dionne Warwick, He paid tribute to Bacharach (who is approaching his 90th birthday) with “This Guy’s In Love with You” and telling the story of being at the original recording session for “I Say a Little Prayer” before doing his unique version. He closed by performing the two songs that he sang in the Father of the Bride movies: “Give Me the Simple Life” and “The Way You Look Tonight.” Tyrell’s encore began with a story about being there for Elvis Presley’s recording session for “Always on My Mind.”

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.