BWW Reviews: An Uber Cool Spider Saloff Brings Her Cool Yule to Rockwell
On Tuesday December 3 sublime singer Spider Saloff appeared at Rockwell Table and Stage for an evening of Cool Yule accompanied by electric jazz pianist Richard Eames. I say sublime, as there are a rare few like Saloff who can really sing, wrapping their heart around the lyrics of a song and then delivering it as if they had never told the story before. It takes an actress to sing well, and Saloff has everything it takes. Like Garland, she's one of the best.
Not only does she sing but also composes and very recently created "When You See Me" a song that speaks out against violence and racism. Since Christmas has the theme of peace Saloff sang the song amongst a bevy of her Cool Yule cd hits, and also adding a couple of non-holiday Gershwin tunes. Highlights of the 70-minute set included: a jazzy "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", Steve Allen's "Cool Yule", a fantastically renderedqand oh so sensuous "Santa Baby", "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm", and "Boogie Woogie Santa", giving Saloff the perfect opp to display her rich jazz style, as well as with "Winter Wonderland". Like her idol Ella Fitzgerald, she scats scrumptiously, as appropriate, throughout.
On the warmer romantic side there was a delicious rendering of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?" Also on tap the lovely "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" composed by Hugh Martin with whom Saloff had a personal friendship. She told of how this southern gentleman wrote a terribly sad song that everyone including Judy Garland turned against, forcing him to rewrite the lyrics. Of course, the rest is history... She engaged us also with Mel Torme's "The Christmas Song", "Christmastime Is Here", "Christmas Waltz" and the perfectly gorgeous "A Child Is Born" by Jones/Wilder. Gershwin's "They Can't Take That Away From Me" provided a nice non Christmas diversion as did the hysterically funny "Vodka" also by Gershwin that gave Saloff a field day to act drunker and drunker as she supposedly imbibed the nector.
I did not want Cool Yule to end. Spider Saloff could have sung all night, as they say. She is a singer's singer, an artist of incredible purity, whose phrasing and sense of mirth are impeccable. A formidable actor and also delightful human being! A truly arresting performer whose voice translates perfectly to CD!
(photo: Stan Mazin)
Check out interview:
and Spider's website: