Review by Edward Kliszus
Our rising star arrived on the stage with smiles and panache, an enthusiastic audience welcoming the charming young chanteuse. Pinero greeted and thanked her adoring fan base for attending, reflecting on the excitement of creating her debut album, and the challenges of remote recording. She shared personal thoughts about her life and segued into her opening number, Stand Tall by Donald Glover.
Pinero’s song list parallels her debut set of recordings. She continued with All I’ve Ever Known by Anaïs Mitchell, The Nearness of You by Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington; You’re Nearer by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Stop This Train by John Mayer, I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face by Frederick Loewe and Alan Jay Lerner, Children Will Listen/No One Is Alone by Stephen Sondheim, Do You Remember by C. Bennett et al., and Growing Up by Stephen Sondheim.
Pinero possesses a lovely, light, and fast vibrato with a lyric or spinto soprano litheness, prompting reflection on the sonority and facility of Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. Her sense of pitch is excellent, an attribute Frank Sinatra espoused as an artistic requisite. She effortlessly emotes a kaleidoscope of sparkling, coruscating sound colors, extending her range with a gentle head voice. Pinero seamlessly shifts into her richly colored extended chest voice to achieve desired dramatic effects, complementing the substance of the lyrical narrative. In short, Pinero marvelously expresses the music’s poetry and ineffable images, drawing her audience into the imaginative world she creates from the artist’s province.
In many ways, the songs are autobiographical. She expresses her feelings and sentiments through the songs and badinage, revealing a vulnerability and sensitivity that contextualizes and enriches her musical sojourn. She spoke of covid-related long distance and remote relationships, reconnecting with family members, hope, love, childhood, growing up, and the passing of time.
Mark Hartman’s arrangements and accompaniment are inventive, tasteful, beautifully understated, and powerful when needed. He gently employs dissonances, painting tone colors on the piano’s expansive range to support a song’s meaning and the singer’s dramatic expressions. For the grand finale, Frederick Lowe’s I Could Have Danced All Night, he drew from his authority to propel Pinero’s joyous and spirited rendition.
Pinero graciously thanked all the individuals who supported tonight’s venue, including kitchen and wait staff, sound and lighting, and the audience who attended a 9:45 pm show on a weeknight. Enthusiastic applause, photos, flowers, and embraces completed the evening.
The management team includes proprietors Steve Baruch, Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel, and restaurant general manager Mandisa Boxill.
The club presents live shows at 7 pm and 9:45 pm. Late-night programming will resume in the coming months.
54 W 54th St. NYC 10019
Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com or call (646) 476-3551.