Terese Genecco has just celebrated her fourth year singing jazzy tunes to the beat of her "Little Big Band." Her voice, robust but not brassy, swings melodically like an old-time vocalist. A generous singer, she always includes an accomplished guest artist, and for her anniversary show, she wheeled out a cavalcade of New York staples too numerous to all be mentioned.
Ms. Genecco, diminutive and androgynous, is a sporty, attractive MC. She opened with "It Had Better Be Tonight," (Henry Mancini) followed by "The Moment of Truth" (Music and lyrics by Collen Gray), and "Tex" (Satterwhite and Frank Scott). She then turned over the show to her guests, starting out with Shaynee Rainbolt. Having listened to Rainbolt for years, last night was a revelation. In "I Only Have Eyes for You," her voice was, clean, focused, rangy and swinging. Her performance left me wanting more.
Broadway and TV actress Luba Mason offered up a seductive, velvety "Love for Sale." She owned the stage as she lithely delivered the familiar lyrics.
NYC icon Marilyn Maye (with her musical director Billy Stritch) stopped in and brought the house down with a rollicking jazzed up rendition of "On the Street Where You Live." This woman was on the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson over 70 times. When she struts her stuff, you can tell why. She is a powerhouse. Stritch's piano playing was big and resonant, yet supportive and agile.
We were graced with the true Broadway belt of Karen Mason, who Terese joined in a virtuosic version of "Come Rain or Come Shine." Mason also shone in "The Moment of Truth," by songwriter Paul Rolnick, her husband, with music by Shelly Markham.
K.T. Sullivan camped it up with an outrageous interpretation of Irving Berlin's "You'd Be Surprised" with her unique soprano and purring vibrato. One can see why she is so well-regarded by the local cabaret scene.
For a change of pace, Terese introduced Klea Blackhurst, who regaled us with a hysterical tune from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Her comedic timing reminded me of the late Madeline Kahn. She also has quite a set of pipes.
Genecco closed the set with Bill Zeffiro -- pianist, singer and song writer. They made a duet of his tune, "A Voice in the Blue." Zeffiro's voice was as strong and clear, and his song was evocative of another time -- when music had sentiment and melody.
The Iridium is doing us a service by having Scobar Entertainment (headed by Scott Barbarino -- himself a fine baritone) present Ms. Genecco monthly. I would recommend this event as a destination to tourists and locals alike. She is to be found the last Tuesday of each month at the Iridium, at 1650 Broadway in New York City.