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Friday, July 10, 2015

Richard Malavet's Very Good Years: the Intimate Sinatra

Old Blue Eyes is definitely back, There has been no shortage of Frank Sinatra tributes in NYC this year, perhaps because of Sinatra's centennial come December. The latest, Very Good Years: the Intimate Sinatra, came to NYC's Metropolitan Room tonight.

Richard Malavet looks like actor Richard Beymer's love child and enraptures us with a well modulated baritone that can be caressingly gentle or dramatically powerful as needed.

Malavet especially impressed us with his bouncy opener, "You Make Me Feel So Young," the Oscar-winning song "All the Way" from the film The Joker Is Wild, "Yellow Days" sung in its original Spanish and Richard's encore number, "Put Your Dreams Away." The full house, including a few recording and cabaret notables, obviously enjoyed the show immensely.

Malavet was well served by a four-piece band with multi-Grammy nominee music director John di Martino on piano, twice Grammy winner Boris Kozlove on bass, Shinnosuke Takahashi on drums and James Chirillio on guitar.

Very Good Years, however, suffered from one major flaw, and that was bringing crib sheets onstage that Mr Malavet proceeded to get visibly flustered over. Malavet flubbed his way through these with obvious chagrin. The performer certainly knows enough about Sinatra to do his patter off-the-cuff and put his notes aside rather than diminish the patina of an otherwise very polished presentation. As you yourself sing, Richard, when it comes to pleasing your audience, it's All or Nothing at All.

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