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Jack Phillips Café Nights In New York
Jack Phillips is on the PPAS PTA executive board ~ Friday, January 17, 2014 - 8pm ~ Donʼt Tell Mama 343 W. 46th Street, New York, NY Reservations: (212) 757-0788 $20 cover - two drink minimum Cash Only
Musical Director: Conal Fowkes
" Jack Phillips will be performing popular American Songbook standards as well as selections from his new original standards album “Café Nights In New York” at New Yorkʼs legendary venue “Donʼt Tell Mama” on January 17, 2014 at 8pm. Jack will be accompanied by Conal Fowkes on piano who performs regularly with Woody Allen and the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band at the Café Carlyle on Monday evenings. Debbie Kennedy will be playing the bass who also performs often with Woody Allen at the Café Carlyle. Klaus Suonsaari will be playing drums -- Klaus was Bobby Shortʼs drummer at the Café Carlyle for fifteen years.
“Café Nights In New York” is an album of original “standards”
Jackʼs album “Café Nights In New York” received some great notice:
ALL ABOUT JAZZ - Dan Bilawski - July 29, 2012
New York is, and always has been, a study in contrasts when it comes to the jazz it presents. The Big Apple has a reputation as the place to be for those looking to hear, explore and partake in all that's modern in this music, but it also plays home to certain venues that serve as the last vestiges of old world style. Chief among the rooms that traffic in the charm and class associated with cabaret performers, Cole Porter songs and cocktails is the Cafe Carlyle, and few who enter this hallowed space are immune to its charm.
Vocalist/composer Jack Phillips fell under its sway long ago and found inspiration in what he heard there. Phillips, who typically works in pop and rock situations, made it a point to go to the Carlyle to check out the late Bobby Short's performances and, in more recent times, the Eddy Davis New Orleans Jazz Band, and these listening experiences proved to be transformative. Short's work was the impetus behind Phillips' decision to take the plunge into cabaret territory and Davis serves as his arranger, producer, guitar-and-banjo wielding accompanist, occasional songwriting partner and style guide.
While most rock-associated artists looking to cross into cabaret-style territory do so with a safety net of songs from the like of Porter, Gershwin, and Rodgers and Hart in hand, Phillips took the riskier approach and wrote all of the music for Cafe Nights In New York; in some places, this gambit pays off. The absorbing and refined "Someone" and the NOLA-glazed "The Old Grey Hat" are chief among his successes. Elsewhere, the material can be a bit contrived, lyrically speaking ("Magic"), or somewhat forgettable ("Sometimes It Happens") but, on the whole, Phillips proves to be a strong writer capable of conjuring thoughts of a time long gone and a city worth savoring.
Stylistic authenticity is chief among the strong suits of this music and much credit should go to Davis and the other players on board. Multi-instrumental virtuoso Scott Robinson is superb, whether delivering breathtaking tenor saxophone soloing ("Someone") or obbligato on flute or cornet, Conal Fowkes dresses up the music with all manner of sounds, ranging from pianistic class to vibraphone work to string sweetening, and Dan Levinson's clarinet brightens up the atmosphere on "The Old Grey Hat."
Phillips plays his part of old-school cabaret charmer to a T. While he isn't endowed with a voice like Short's and he occasionally pushes a bit too hard, he knows his strengths and limitations well and finds firm footing during the majority of this date. His first foray into the swanky fineries of upper crust musical living features plenty to enjoy.
Track Listing: Take Them To Manhattan; Someone; The Old Grey Hat; Sometimes It Happens; Table For Two; Let's Drink To Us; I've Got Sophistication Too; I Remember Paris And You; 125th Street In Harlem; Magic.
Personnel: Jack Phillips: vocals; Conal Fowkes: piano, vibraphone, bass trombone, accordion, strings; Klaus Suonsaari: drums; Pat O'Leary: bass; Scott Robinson: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, cornet, flute; Eddy Davis: banjo, acoustic guitar, wire brush; Dan Levinson: clarinet; Jim Czak: shaker.
Magnolia Group Records