By Edward Kliszus
The cosmopolitan, lovely, and ebullient jazz vocalist Kathryn Farmer appears live around town and worldwide. You may have caught her at Swing 46, Dizzy’s, the 11th Street Bar, or on her studio recording of songs like The Nearness of You and When October Goes. I recently saw and heard her at the legendary jazz club Swing 46, just a few minutes from Times Square. Through her music, Farmer helped shape a classic celebration of Manhattan nightlife with romance, elegance, charm, and dancing.
\Working with the Kevin Blanq big band, Farmer set the groove tonight with songs like Too Close for Comfort, arranged by Gordon Goodwin, Irving Berlin’s Cheek to Cheek as arranged for Ella Fitzgerald, I Just Found Out About Love, as arranged By Don Menza for the Count Basie Orchestra, Comes Love arranged for Carmen McRae, and a Count Basie arrangement of Caught a Touch of Your Love by Craig Bickhardt, James Best and Jack Keller. Some cats in the Kevin Blanq big band looked laid back and relaxed, but when the song commanded, lead trumpet and burnin’ solo chops cut as the bones, reeds, and rhythm section broke it down.
Along with her singing, Farmer is an accomplished arranger, composer, lyricist, Hammond B3 organist, and pianist. One might say that Farmer has something for everyone for the discriminating musical ear and admirer.
If the 17-piece Kevin Blanq big band and Kathryn Farmer were not enough to get you in the mood for smooth swinging and dancing, the urbane, bespoke, and suave dancer extraordinaire Manuel Rojas appeared to deliver a dance lesson at 8:30 pm as a second band, Swing a Delic arrived on stage. With Rojas, it was time to revel in the legacies of Al Minns and Frankie Manning with Lindy Hop, swing outs, tuck-in-turn, jazz, tap, sugar foot walk, breakaway, and swing dance….dum-dee-dum, dum-dee-dum, dum-dee-dum, dum-dee-dum. Revelers thronged to the dance floor as the buoyant and joyous Rojas drew them in.
Along with great singers, dancing, and music, Swing 46 offers comfortable seating, ambiance, and an excellent dinner menu, drinks, and desserts. For those who like to dance and celebrate life, head West for a few minutes from Times Square and check it out.
Calendar and Menu at Swing46.nyc
349 W46th St
New York, NY 10036
Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Bill Charlap at Birdland, The Wood Brothers with the Kat Wright Trio at MPAC, Vanessa Williams at 54 Below, and Ben Wendel at the Village Vanguard.