Opening night with the New York Philharmonic featured the American premiere of Wynton Marsalis‘ ―Swing Symphony‖. A combination of the New York Philharmonic and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra (100 musicians in all) filled the stage at Avery Fisher Hall for this one. My fellow correspondent Lenore Raphael and I both attended and she comments on the piece in her column.
Miami-based vocalist Nicole Henry flew in for a visit and landed at the Metropolitan Room for a couple of nights. Accompanied by John di-Martino on piano, bassist Kenny Davis and drummer Alvin Atkinson Jr., this accomplished performer offered a set of standards that ably dis-played her vocal abilities. Endowed with a voice of many textures, and lyric-driven (and perfect diction), Henry knows what to do with her sound and with a song. Her up-tempo version of ―What A Little Moonlight Can Do‖ was delivered at swinging superspeed, but Henry also slowed down to do lovely and sensitive versions of ―I Got It Bad and That Ain‘t Good‖ and ―The Nearness Of You‖. DiMartino‘s accom-paniment and solos were up to their usual excellence. Davis made some great lyrical bass statements. And Atkinson‘s skills with both brushes and sticks shone throughout the set. Best of all, Henry and the band were having a great time and so was the audience who joined Henry singing the chorus of her closer, ―Muddy Water‖.
Later. Marcia Hillman from Manhattan