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Richard Holbrook: Manhattan On My Mind, at Danny's Skylight Room
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Richard Holbrook: Manhattan On My Mind, at Danny's Skylight Room

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Richard Holbrook: Manhattan On My Mind
(See Richard Holbrook CD Review)
(See Another Richard Holbrook Review at Danny’s Skylight Room)
Richard Holbrook on Vocals
Tom Nelson on Piano
Michael Max Fleming on Bass
Peter Grant on Drums

At Danny’s Skylight Room
(Danny’s Website)
346 West 46th Street, NYC

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 17, 2005

It was good to catch up with Richard Holbrook’s classy new gig at Danny’s Skylight Room, which was a bit reminiscent of last winter’s set at Danny’s, but also with some fresh and very New York styled songs, all sung along with Holbrook’s steady band: The Tom Nelson Trio (Tom Nelson on piano, Michael Max Fleming on bass, and Peter Grant on drums.

Tonight’s set began with Stepping Out, by Kander and Ebb, plus anecdotes and stories about the loveliness and the loneliness of living in this magical, all-night city. I Happen to Like New York, by Cole Porter, had a new look, with the final lyrics of the song dropped poignantly. I Think I Fell in Love Today, by White and Harrell, sealed the news that Richard Holbrook’s vocalization has reached professional depth and resonance, and this is one cabaret performer to watch.

Autumn in New York, by Vernon Duke, was sung with sensitivity and soul, shifts in mood, and elongated notes. The band remained sophisticated in style, and Fleming took some very low notes to Nelson’s steady accents. Holbrook waxed romantic about New York in October, with the colors, crisp air, and thought of the new year. Slap that Bass, by both Gershwins, brought Fleming to the center of attention, with his understated but outsized talents. Grant, on drums, had a prominent role here, too, and the band seemed quite well connected and attuned to their rhythmic cues.

Holbrook relates to his audience with humor and openness. He uses the lyrics to merge moods of imagination and reality, and then naturally leads us to the next song. Old Friends, by Sondheim, one of my favorites, was an easy lead in to recognize friends in the Skylight Room. You can check Danny’s Skylight Room Website to see current and upcoming events.

Tom Nelson, Michael Max Fleming, Richard Holbrook, Peter Grant
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Richard Holbrook and Friend
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Richard Holbrook and Joe Franklin, Guest
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Richard Holbrook and Friends
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at