Veronica Swift and Emmet Cohen Trio

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Veronica Swift and Emmet Cohen Trio

Birdland, NYC, November 21, 2018

Reviewed by Ron Forman for Cabaret Scenes

Veronica Swift

At age 23, Veronica Swift has become one of the very best jazz vocalists performing today. She is a dynamic performer with a unique style and sound.

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 Her vocal range allows her to go up and down effortlessly, and her phrasing and enunciation are superb. She is a remarkably versatile performer who can swing and scat but can also do soft ballads and funny songs. In this show she even sang in Italian. She was backed by the Emmet Cohen Trio featuring Cohen’s amazing musicianship. For one number, she was joined by her jazz-singing mom, Stephanie Nakasian. 

The show opened with the trio playing a lengthy, very jazzy “Time on My Hands” followed by “Raggin’ the Blues” featuring a superfast piano solo by Cohen. Swift’s opening number told the audience “You’re Gonna Hear from Me” and made us really believe it. She displayed her ability to do a ballad by starting “As Long as He Needs Me” softly and ending with a loud and bold finish.

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After talking about her trip to Italy, she performed a beautiful Italian song “Mi Sono Inamorato Di Te” by Luigi Tenco. Her ability to do a comedy number was shown with Dave Frishberg’s “I’m Hip.” She did a soft and dreamy “You Go to My Head” which, like all of her numbers, was uniquely her. “You Don’t Know What Love Is” featured an incredibly exciting piano solo by Cohen. Her very interesting medley of “Confession” and “The Other Woman” displayed her perfect comic timing on the first song and her dramatic ability on the second.

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She shared a microphone with her very talented mom for “There Will Never Be Another You,” which even had her mom imitating the sounds of a trumpet.

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Her closing number, “Home Blues,” used in George Gershwin’s An American in Paris built to a spectacular climax.

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.