On Sept 15th I’m doing a show of music from the 1930’s and the love songs of Jimmy Durante. Tribute shows are all the rage these days and if not a tribute show then it has to be hip and new and cutting edge and a major production event with lights and cows and flying singers on wires. Or if you’re a jazz guy then it has to be in a box of educated swellishness and lounge crowd cabaret edible acceptability. And I care nothing for that whole thing.
I like how Jimmy Durante sang loves songs with sincerity and heart. And even though he had showgirls in his act it was somehow not off. Who would fall for a guy with a nose like that? It’s hokum and Vaudeville. So the show goes from old vaudeville 2 beat flag-wavers to swing and ballads.
The other show I’m doing is at Mancini’s on the 22nd. I call it hip cats of the fifties, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams, Julie London. This is all the jazz pop stuff I’ve been learning this year and most of last year. And I’m not trying to cop a tribute to these stars but more just learning to play and sing the songs. This music is fun to play but hard to do. Way deep and not rock. It will probably be more acceptable to the steak and wine crowd than the Durante show. But if either of these shows catch an audience I’ll try to get off book and move it to the big ticket rooms. I don’t need to go there, but it would be nice to get my players some dates and some better money. Meanwhile I’ll book a busk or two.