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BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up

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Celebrating the release of his album HERRING COVE one year later, John Minnock is a most charming host.

BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up

There was a great party at Feinstein's last Thursday night, and it was about time, too. After all, John Minnock released his album HERRING COVE over a year ago and he hadn't, yet, celebrated the event. Of course, there was a perfectly understandable reason why he hadn't, but that's another story altogether... in the meantime, the CD is out and John has gathered with his band, his friends, his family, and his fans to Raise the Roof in honor of the occasion. It is true that, for a jazz musician, raising the roof might be a little high-key, but there was plenty of roof-raising to be done, and the audience at 54 Below was well into the swing of things when John spent an hour performing songs from the album, and a few tunes thrown in just for the pleasure of it.

BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up And it was a pleasure, from start to finish, as this laid-back gentleman took an unassuming stance just left of stage center and rode a musical wave created by a killer band, allowing him to focus on unblemished vocals that impressed and entertained. In jazz arrangements that are both urban and urbane, Minnock and co. presented a set that was perfect for a sultry summer New York night where the black pavement glistened wet and the smell of rain filled the air. Knowing jazz treatments in the classic style leaned into sounds informed by the modern jazz influences of today, intelligent, sexy, and steadfast. Given the full support of his band, Mr. Minnock remained in the pocket for one full hour, languishing in skilled vocals that were rather deliciously deceptive - at times raspy, suggesting he might not make it to the end of the song, and then, like a surprise, the full power of his instrument filled the room, letting the audience know it was all delivered with deliberation designed to inform his storytelling.

BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up Storytelling is, apparently, John Minnock's secret weapon. With so distinct and succinct an instrument, clearly studied and properly trained, he places full faith in himself as a vocalist, permitting him the luxury of a deep dive into the lyrics, as well, a luxury that doesn't come with every jazz vocalist. Through his double-barrelled attack on the melody and the poetry of songs like Sarah Bareilles' "Manhattan" and Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" in worldly arrangements tailor-made to his talents, Minnock manages musical moments that will not only stick in the memory, they will drive listeners to his website to purchase copies of his albums. Whether singing classics like "Green Dolphin Street" on his own or dueting with pal Deborah Lippmann on a stellar "Since I Fell For You," Mr. Minnock's musical artistry really resonated with the audience, all of whom he had in the palm of his hand, even if (for future performances) he should consider writing a script. Funny and likable, John also has a tendency to ramble when chatting, not necessarily in a long-winded way, but definitely in an aimless one. When one is possessing of humor and charm, it is a shame to leave the heavy lifting to these two qualities, when a simple script-writing session with a director can take some of the pressure off.

BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up Whatever shortcomings may be in John Minnock's show due to the presence of a little extemporaneous prattle, they are more than made up for by his outstanding rendition of the Peggy Lee classic "I Love Being Here With You" that shows off his scat-singing skills in ways beyond compare. Also worthy of mention is the David Shire composition "After All These Years" which is John Minnock's money number. Perfect in every way, this song from the Herring Cove album belongs in every John Minnock show, on every John Minnock playlist, and just on every playlist anyone creates to listen to while entertaining or just relaxing at home when work is through. This song, alone, is worth purchasing a copy of the CD or a ticket to a John Minnock show - if it isn't destined to become a classic, it should be. The song and John Minnock are both worth every bit of celebrating that was in the air on Thursday night, and one hopes that the party goes on for a long time. John has certainly earned it.

The John Minnock band on Thursday night was NEA Jazz Master Dave Liebman on sax, Sean Mason on piano, Mark Lewandowski on bass, Pablo Eluchans on drums


Visit the John Minnock website HERE.

Find great shows to see at 54 Below HERE.

BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up
BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up BWW Review: JOHN MINNOCK Throws a Party at Feinstein's/54 Below And Everyone Shows Up Photos by Stephen Mosher


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