2009/11/7, by Elliot Zwiebach – Cabaret Scenes

Put a singer like Jack Jones together with lyricists like Alan and Marilyn Bergman and you’ve got heaven on earth.
Jones has still got it! As he appoaches age 72, his pipes are in great shape, and he knows how to work his voice around a note-high, low or in-between with a sweetness and a purity singers half his age would be happy to achieve. Despite a bit of hoarseness that was apparent only in the sustained notes at the end of each song?and he does sustain those last notes!?Jones exhibited complete mastery of his art in singing the lyrics of a pair of masters, the Bergmans.
There were, of course, several of their most popular songs: a pretty “The Windmills of Your Mind” (music by Michael Legrand); a very emotional “Where Do You Start?” (music by Johnny Mandel); and a super medley of “The Way We Were” (music by Marvin Hamlisch) and “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” (Legrand).
But there were also a couple of lesser-known songs that were equally outstanding?particularly “I Won’t Believe My Eyes” (Mandel), a song about the joys of love yet to be discovered, which more cabaret singers should seek because of its haunting melody and beautiful words (“I’ve never seen you in the twilight/I’ve never kissed you in the rain/Oh, how I envy me the joy, the thrill/Of sights that still remain!”). Another excellent albeit obscure number was “In Another Life” (Legrand), with a solid Jones vocal about a romance minus the pain?one in which “there’d be no goodbyes,” according to the lyric.
Aside from his way with a ballad, Jones also excelled on up-tempo tunes, including three Legrand compositions: a non-ballad version of “The Summer Knows”; a swinging “Sweet Gingerbread Man”; and “In a Dangerous Mood,” in which he let his voice go and simply wailed.
He also gave a sweet reading to “On My Way to You” (Legrand), which he dedicated to his wife of five months, Eleonora, sitting ringside?ending on a high, pure falsetto note.
Jones acknowledged his musicians right after his opening song, introducing Jeff Colella on piano?a last-minute substitute who did excellent work, plus Chris Colangelo on bass and Kendall Kay on drums.
He departed from the Bergman canon at the start and end of his show?opening with the anthem “I Am a Singer” (Gerard Kenny/Drey Shepperd) and encoring with what he termed “the most beautiful goodbye song ever written”?”We’ll Be Together Again” (Carl Fischer/ Frankie Laine).
And when the audience insisted he do a second encore, he put his tongue firmly in cheek to perform teh theme from “The Love Boat” (Paul Williams/Charles Fox), complete with a foghorn sound?proving there’s almost nothing Jack Jones can’t do vocally.