By Michael Hillyer
Since he took over the coveted holiday slot for the late, great, Bobby Short in 2005, Steve Tyrell has become a Christmas season mainstay at the Café Carlyle, and his brand new show, “A Song For You,” now running through New Year’s Eve, marks his 13th annual appearance at New York’s swankiest supper club.
He always seems to be at the top of his game, and this year’s iteration of his top-shelf cabaret act is no exception. The intimate confines of the Carlyle are well suited to his bluesy, laid-back singing style, and he takes the stage with confidence and considerable charm. This year, he is really hitting it out of the park, with breezy renditions of familiar standards like Come Rain Or Come Shine, Don’t Get Around Much Any More, Ain’t Misbehaving, and the classic This Guy’s In Love With You. But the high point of this excellent show comes about halfway through, when he lets it go on a patch of songs, beginning with his delightful rendition of Bella Notte, from the Disney film Lady And The Tramp, then to On The Sunny Side Of The Street and The Way You Look Tonight, both of which he re-introduced to audiences in the Father Of The Bride films, and on which he now has an absolute lock. What a treat from start to finish, to be sitting there at The Carlyle, listening to Steve Tyrell bring down the house with these timeless classics. Pinch me.
A veteran of the music industry long before Father Of The Bride launched his career as a vocalist and catapulted him to the top of the charts as an interpreter of the American Songbook, Mr. Tyrell always seems to show up at the Carlyle with some of the best musicians in the country in tow. His band is simply the best, with Musical Director Quinn Johnson on piano, David Finck playing bass, the amazing Bob Mann on guitar, Kevin Winward on drums, the superb David Mann playing saxophone and flute and Jon Allen with keyboards and vocals. These musicians provide a sophisticated, hip sound to all the numbers in the set, and the arrangements by Bob Mann are precisely tailored to showcase Steve Tyrell’s considerable vocal gifts.
Performances are Tuesday – Thursday at 8:45pm, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:45pm and 10:45pm. Reservations can be made by phone at 212.744.1600 or online via Ticketweb. Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel at 35 East 76th Street at Madison Avenue. Dress code is chic attire; for gentlemen, jackets are required.