Tiffany Bailey: Jazz with Pop

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Tiffany Bailey

Jazz with Pop

Upstairs at Vitello’s, Studio City, CA, April 17, 2019

Reviewed by Elliot Zwiebach for Cabaret Scenes Magazine

Tiffany & Buddy Bailey

For Tiffany Bailey, her latest cabaret show was a joyous celebration of family—most notably her father, veteran trumpet player Alan “Buddy” Bailey, who shared the stage with her. The father-daughter bond was palpable; her eyes glowed with pride as she sang with her dad and exchanged patter that several times made her express thanks she had worn waterproof mascara.

Noting their mutual appreciation for Chet Baker, Bailey and Bailey performed “Line for Lyons” (Gerry Mulligan), with dad adding a powerful trumpet solo—and a bit of gentle, effortless singing—to his daughter’s soft, sweet lyric line. They also collaborated on “Just the Two of Us” (Bill Withers/Ralph MacDonald/William Silver), with her relaxed vocal and his smooth instrumentals; and they combined on a sweet, adorable duet of “Side by Side” (Harry M. Woods).

Bailey left the stage briefly to allow her father to hold the spotlight with an enthusiastic Latin-tinged “Look for the Silver Lining” (Jerome Kern/Buddy G. DeSilva), which also featured effective solos by Dori Amarilio (the show’s musical director) on guitar, guest pianist Bradley Young, Gabe Davis on bass, Hussain Jiffry setting aside his electric bass for a tambourine, and Kevin Winard on drums. 

With Bill Cantos, the show’s primary pianist, back on the bench, Bailey paid tribute to her mother in the audience with a soft, heartfelt “True Colors” (Billy Steinberg/Tom Kelly), featuring Amarilio on guitar, and she saluted her husband—with accompaniment by guest pianist Dave Moscoe—with a sweet, slowed-tempo “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (John Farrar). She also thanked her brother for coming up with the double-meaning title of the show, Jazz with Pop—also the name of her first CD, which came out the night of the show.

According to Bailey, she grew up listening to popular music while not quite understanding her father’s preference for jazz.  Over the years, however, she has evolved into a jazz singer in her own right, and this show gave her the chance, she said, to approach some of her pop favorites in a jazz mode, as well as the chance to perform with her pop.

The songs included “Genie in a Bottle” (David Frank/Steve Kipner/Pamela Shayne) and swinging versions of “If I Were a Bell” (Frank Loesser) and “42nd Street” (Harry Warren/Al Dubin). She opened with “Twilight Zone/Twilight Tone” (Jay Graydon/Alan Paul), which she said established the boundaries of where her musical interest lies.


Bailey also brought pianist Todd Hunter on stage to play his arrangement of “You Don’t Know What Love Is” (Gene DePaul/Don Raye), which she sang gently and plaintively, with beautifully sustained notes. With Cantos back on piano, she performed an inspired “No More Blues” (Antonio Carlos Jobim) in a confident, powerful up-tempo style, ending with a brief coda of Jobim’s “Waters of March” that featured rapid-fire lyric delivery “that was Dori’s cool idea,” she explained.

Elliot Zwiebach

Elliot Zwiebach loves the music of The Great American Songbook and classic Broadway, with a special affinity for Rodgers and Hammerstein. He's been a professional writer for 45 years and a cabaret reviewer for five. Based in Los Angeles, Zwiebach has been exposed to some of the most talented performers in cabaret—the famous and the not-so-famous—and enjoys it all. Reviewing cabaret has even pushed him into doing some singing of his own — a very fun and liberating experience that gives him a connection with the performers he reviews.