- Published on Friday, 27 January 2012 13:04
- Written by Ron Forman On The Town
I featured selections from Ellen Kaye’s two CD’s on my WKRB radio program last Sunday, so I was familiar with her work prior to seeing her show: ICE WINE: Songs for dark winter nights, last night. Her recordings are quite good but they don’t do justice to her dynamic and spirited live performance. The show has an extremely eclectic mix of different genres and includes songs written by Kurt Weill, Ira Gershwin and Lieber and Stoller and songs introduced by Ethel Waters, Cab Calloway and Bruce Springstein. Ms. Kaye’s voice and movement on stage coordinate beautifully with each number that she was singing.
Her opening number Love Me Like a Man was the perfect way to heat up the audience on a dark rainy winter night. Her performance of Hound Dog went back to the original lyrics as performed by Big Mama Thornton, not the later version as done by Elvis, and was great fun to listen to. Ethel Water’s Trademark had the audience in stitches and Cab Calloway’s Chicken had the crowd joining in. Her voice changed suitably to sing the Weill-Gershwin chestnut This is New. The closing number That’s Life was very Ellen Kaye and did not mirror Frank Sinatra’s version. The moving encore I Wish You Love put me in warm mood to face the dark rainy winter night.
Ms. Kaye was backed beautifully by musical director/guitarist Ethan Fein, Claire Daly on winds, Benjamin Brown on bass, Ricky Martinez on drums and Cleve Douglas with additional vocals. Glen Drewes was a guest trumpet soloist on Be Good to Me Tonight and Hounds of Winter.
Ellen Kaye will have two more appearances at the Metropolitan Room 34 West 22nd St on February 2 and February 29 at 7 PM.