October 12: Jazz combo: Kathryn Allyn on vocals, Frank Ponzio on piano, Tom Hubbard on bass, Hayes Greenfield on sax, all superb and elaborately ornamental. Out comes this pretty lady with a martini dry wit and delivery to match. She proceeds to tell a humiliating story from her past. (Includes wisecracking cops, chill bankers and sexy con men.) The story is funny and would be brief, except that every pause is an opportunity to insert a song, each in a different style. Eighteen songs (from Irving Berlin to Cole Porter to Clifford Brown to Randy Newman to Willie Nelson to NYC songwriters Bill Zeffiro and Rosemary Loar), with vocal and instrumental jazz riffs at appropriate moments. It only becomes clear near the end that this is a story about the end of a marriage. ("He was a nice guy ... his name escapes me ...) So the whole thing lasts 90 minutes though it feels like much less because: variety and besides, she can sing. And you get your money's worth of singing, jazzing, combo-ing and food and drink. (Best burger in a WHILE. My date had the scallops.) Next performances are November 16 and December 21, at Café Noctambulo.
- John Yohalem, www.cafeteriarusticana.com
November 16: At Café Noctambulo at Pangea, the irrepressible vocalist presented a “tale of woe and naughty bits” which produced more laughter than empathy...surrounding herself with the exceptional instrumentalists Frank Ponzio, Hayes Greenfield and Tom Hubbard ... moves along effortlessly from scene to scene by way of illustrative songs and clever transitions. Aided by an eclectic set of mostly classic standards, the extremely talented jazz singer rose to the challenge. Tunes dated from as early as 1932, “I Got a Right to Sing the Blues” (Arlen & Koehler), to as recently as 2012, “My Kind of Guy” (Bill Zeffiro)... the diverse collection included iconic songs by Berlin, Porter, Coleman, and Warren, as well as a pair from Willie Nelson and Randy Newman. Allyn and her fabulous trio were clearly having enormous fun in telling the story in words and music. Likely, the audience had never heard such sparkling jazz arrangements of songs like “Love, You Didn’t Do Right by Me” (Berlin), “Just One of Those Things” (Porter), and “There Will Never Be Another You” (Warren & Gordon). Ponzio, Greenfield, and Hubbard enjoyed leisurely solos, producing an ever enveloping glow as the evening moved on.
- Jerry Osterberg, American Popular Song Society
Frank Ponzio, Piano; Music Director. ("An artist of top quality” - J. d'Amboise, National Dance Institute) Frank is a jazz pianist, composer, arranger and teacher. He has performed and collaborated with a variety of well-known artists, including Ben Vereen, David Amram, Phil Donahue, Jacques d’Amboise, Joe Beck, Nancy LaMott, Baby Jane Dexter, Bob McGrath of Sesame Street, Rosemary Loar, and Aisha Morris (Stevie Wonder's daughter). He performs solo concerts and leads his own bands at the legendary Birdland, the Metropolitan Room, The Museum of Modern Art, Trinity Church, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Town Hall. As a music director, composer, and arranger, Frank has worked on numerous productions, including shows at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the Paramount Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Hayes Greenfield, Sax. ("An Inspired, risk taking improviser with a pungent tone and a penchant for melody…” – Jazz Times) Hates is a producer, composer, saxophonist, filmmaker, bandleader, and educator – has been active on the New York City jazz scene since the late ‘70s. As sideman, he has built enduring associations with such notable artists as Jaki Byard, Rashied Ali, Paul Bley, Barry Altschul, and Richie Havens. As bandleader, Hayes has recorded and produced a number of critically acclaimed CDs and played throughout the U.S. and Canada, headlining in such popular New York City clubs as the Blue Note, Birdland, the Knitting Factory, and CBGB’s. European tours have taken him and his bands to Vienna, the Aalen Jazz Festival in Germany, Brighton Jazz Festival in the U.K., the Albi, Coutances, Bordeaux, Amiens, Hyeres, and Avignon Jazz Festivals in France, and the Aarhus Jazz Festival in Denmark.
Tom Hubbard, Bass (“Intriguing solos… lyrical and swinging.”- Jazz Review.com) Tom is a bassist, composer and arranger who lives and works in New York City. His teachers have included Arthur Gold and George Stahl of the Minnesota Orchestra and renowned jazz bassists Richard Davis and Dave Holland. He has performed with instrumentalists Kenny Barron, Jay McShann, Charlie Rouse, Dewey Redman, Beaver Harris, Dannie Richmond and Ron Affif among others. Tom has accompanied a long list of singers including Joe Williams, Mose Allison, Freddy Cole, Chris Connor, Sheila Jordan, Liza Minnelli, Michael Feinstein, Billy Stritch, Stacey Kent, Marilyn Maye and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Mr. Hubbard performed on and wrote arrangements for seven of Freddy Cole’s CDs and contributed arrangements for recordings by Grover Washington, Jr., George Mraz, Archie Shepp and the Milestone All-Stars. He has performed in some of the top venues worldwide including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Philadelphia ’s Academy of Music, Kennedy Center, The Sydney Opera House, Tokyo ’s NHK Hall and Frankfurt ’s Alte Oper. His website is tomhubbardbass.com