Monday January 05, 2015
From The New York Times
As Bubbly as a Midnight Glass of Champagne
By: James R. Oestreich
The New York Philharmonic’s New Year’s Eve concert at Avery Fisher Hall offered cleverness and good spirits aplenty. That much was all but guaranteed in a program celebrating the Gershwin brothers: the composer George and the lyricist Ira…
…Ms. Reeves pretty much took over the second half of the program, singing four songs with backing from her own group — Peter Martin, pianist; Reuben Rogers, bassist; Terri Lyne Carrington, drummer — and the orchestra. She proved an endless font of invention, bending melodies, harmonies and rhythms to new shapes without ever falsifying the spirit or mood of the original.
In “Fascinating Rhythm,” she acknowledged, she and her friend and fellow arranger Billy Childs “just went a little wild.” It was a delight: utterly transformed yet everywhere recognizable and convincing.
She injected arpeggios and other ornaments, large and small, with unfailing smoothness. She even managed to weave the identifications of the members of her group into “Love Is Here to Stay” with only the slightest breaks in rhythmic continuity.
But it was Mr. Lewis, who had the last word in the duet version of “ ’S Wonderful” that ended the program. Having followed Ms. Reeves through many runs of scat and melodic excursions, he simply gave up at the end, countering, “What she said.”