Saturday, March 26, 2011

Will Friedwald weighs in on Jane Harvey

Feinstein's at Loews Regency 
540 Park Ave.
(212) 339-4095, Monday (March 28)
Feinstein's offers an abundance of musical riches, with an appealingly wide generational span. The featured attraction is the delightful Nellie McKay: eclectic, irreverent, funny, sad, poignant, silly, often all at once, whether she is re-tooling a standard or offering one of her originals (which are also heard on a special weekend late show). On Monday, the main event is, quite possibly, the last major active female vocalist of the swing era. Jane Harvey headlined at Café Society and with the big bands of Benny Goodman and Desi Arnaz. Later, she recorded a short but choice series of albums that culminated in what is still the best overall jazz vocal take on the songs of Stephen Sondheim. Ms. Harvey, whose New York appearances are far too infrequent, is such a vital performer that when she sings "I'm Still Here" (lately an overdone anthem for veteran divas), it almost seems redundant.

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