Eric Yves Garcia

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Eric Yves Garcia

West Bank Cafe, NYC, July 10, 2021

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg

Eric Yves Garcia

The polished and handsome singer-pianist Eric Yves Garcia serenaded the diners at West Bank Cafe with a casual elegance, as though he had wandered into someone’s living room and sat down at the available piano to entertain those assembled with some of his favorite songs. He favored delivering blocks of songs by the same writer—Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart, Jimmy Van Heusen, and others. All were introduced with some charming patter (“this is NOT the key, this is the key!”).

Since the space is not a traditional cabaret space, Garcia made no attempt to create a traditional cabaret show for the evening. There was no rise and fall to the evening, no uniting theme. In fact, he seemed to be winging it, checking his song list from time to time to prompt his next group of songs. This certainly didn’t take away from the enjoyable program, but for some fans it lacked that backbone of drama that all good cabaret shows have.

However, the singer showed a wide streak of inventiveness in his treatment of material. “Speak Low” was given a swinging light touch with the erotic lyrics lightly hit and then dropped, allowing them to flow away. Equally surprising was an almost playful approach to “The Song Is Ended,” countering and somehow highlighting the mournful aspects of the lyrics. This number smoothly slid into an enchanting “Cheek to Cheek,” recalling mavin Steve Ross, but with a more muscular approach. On the other hand, the blithe “Tea for Two” was slowed way down to expose the underlying emotions in the love song that are often passed over.

Other highlights of the evening included a dreamy “I Fall in Love Too Easily,” a lush “I Walk a Little Faster,” and a charming blend of “No One Else But Me” and “Young And Foolish.” Every time the audience thought they knew where Garcia was going next, he was sure to surprise them. Let’s get him back into a cabaret room soon.

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.