Nicole Henry: A Time to Love Again

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Nicole Henry

A Time to Love Again

Feinstein’s/54 Below, NYC, March 19, 2022

Reviewed by Ron Forman

Nicole Henry

The very beautiful Nicole Henry is one of today’s very best jazz vocalists. As I saw her in her show at Feinstein’s/54 Below to introduce her latest recording A Time to Love Again, it was difficult to decide which was more enjoyable, watching her move across the stage or listening to her great vocals. After the two-year pandemic, the title of the show and the CD was most appropriate. It is indeed a time to love,and Henry carefully chose an eclectic mix of songs old and new to celebrate the many aspects of love.

She has a powerful voice that never strains when she’s hitting the high notes or holding them at the end of a number. Each song she sings is uniquely done. She was elegantly dressed in a green gown, which made it was virtually impossible to keep your eyes off of her as she continuously moved across the stage.
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Her of-the-cuff funny stories philosophizing about love and her always eye-catching arm movements added much to the show. She was backed by a wonderful jazz quartet—El’e Howell (drums), Avi Rothbard (guitar), Anthony Wonsey (piano), and Obasi (bass)—each of whom was given the opportunity to perform solos in this very entertaining 90-minute show.

She began the show by singing “Feeling Good” off stage and, when she entered, her contagious big smile made me think she really was feeling good; then the way she held the final note on the word “good”convinced me. This was followed by a jazzy “Almost Like Being in Love.
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” A funny story about her being on a beach preceded her singing “Midnight at the Oasis.” Her performance of “Is It a Crime” included a haunting solo turn by Obasi. A very nicely done “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” included lengthy, applause-producing solos by each of the musicians. Her movement was really groovy when she sang Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed,” which preceded a sultry, very sexy “Wild Is the Wind.” She displayed her ability to do a soft ballad with “Until It’s Time for You to Go.” Henry closed with a distinctive arrangement of “That’s All,” which began slowly and softly and then built to a big 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.