Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

The jazz singer-songwriter-pianist has two shows tonight at Birdland and they are not to be missed.

By: Jul. 30, 2022
Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater
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When I review a show, I take notes in a little notebook, and it is my custom to put little stars next to numbers throughout the set that stand out as being particularly wonderful.

When I got home last night from the Tony DeSare show at Birdland, I opened my notebook and saw something that looked rather like a map of the Milky Way. Almost every musical number had a star by it, sometimes two or three, and it is my belief that the only reason every single entry didn't have stars beside it was that I was trying to be conservative with my praise.

It turns out that Tony DeSare deserves the praise.

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Mr. DeSare is a singing piano player (or a piano playing singer) with extreme popularity who travels the world, performing The Great American Songbook in symphony halls and nightclubs. He is a well-known interpreter of and expert in the Frank Sinatra canon, something that may have been started with (or was, at least, informed by) his work in New York City in a long-running cabaret revue titled OUR SINATRA. Now, the world is not short of men who are fascinated by Frank Sinatra, who sing Sinatra, who wish to keep the Sinatra legacy alive (as well as other men from the era who sang within the genre) and that's wonderful. So, when a man wishes to play the piano and sing music from this particular catalogue, it is vastly important that the man bring something special to the table, because a copy is just a copy, and Sinatra copies can be found everywhere. Tony DeSare is no copy, and Tony DeSare does, in fact, bring something special to the table - he brings himself.

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Mr. DeSare has a talent with which to be reckoned, whether he is working with his fingers or his voice. Honestly speaking, he could leave the piano behind and just stand at the mic and sing (as noted last night in a stunning performance of "One For My Baby" during which he was accompanied on guitar by Edward Decker), or he could put a different singer at the mic and just play the piano, his virtuosi fingers flying over the keys in Herculean efforts to make magnificent music (as observed throughout his seventy-minute program). So when Tony DeSare employs both of his talents at the same time, what the audience gets is medical-grade joy. Except that that isn't where it stops. Tony DeSare is a songwriter, too, and a sensational one, as proven last night through three wonderful self-made compositions, "New Orleans Tango" (which is so sexy that a person might have trouble breathing during DeSare's performance), "Paris Always Will Have You" (which should be a nightclub standard being sung by everyone in about two minutes ago) and "Always Sunny When I'm With You" (which should be a major motion picture theme song, as soon as someone in the filmmaking industry gets their act together and makes it happen).

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater So, even though Tony DeSare's aesthetic is informed by the music of the past, it isn't a retro show that he presents. This is a modern-day program of music being performed by a modern-day artist who just happens to have an affinity for (and keen understanding of) Cole Porter and Sinatra, as well as Ray Charles and Prince - the performance of "You Don't Know Me" was an evening highlight, but the treatment of the bluesy, funky, pop song "Kiss" was a revelation. Indeed, all of DeSare's treatments are spot-on perfect, as he conscientiously decides when to go all-out new, like the "Kiss" treatment, or commit to the perfect balance of old vibes and new flavors, leaving us enough of what we already know and giving us enough new to make the listening experience exciting. DeSare's entire evening of music is the embodiment of exquisite musical enjoyment, while he, himself, is just this simple, suave, smooth laid-back dude who is having fun playing to a full house and playing with his fellow musicians, each of whom belongs up on the stage with him because each of them is able to match DeSare's excellence in ways that will inspire spontaneous outbursts of applause and cries of grateful disbelief. This is what people come to Birdland for - masterful musical storytelling without frills or coy disguise, straightforward technical excellence and the feeling that one gets when in the presence of a great entertainer and artist.

Pure medical grade joy.

The monstrously amazing and terrifyingly talented Tony DeSare band are Guitarist Edward Decker, Bassist Dylan Shamat and Drummer Michael Klopp

Tony DeSare will perform two shows tonight, July 30th, in the Birdland Theater at 7 pm and 9:30 pm. For information and reservations visit the Birdland website HERE.

THIS is the Tony DeSare website. Be sure to catch Tony's regular online releases on Facebook HERE, Instagram HERE, and YouTube HERE.

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater

Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Review: TONY DeSARE Makes Musical Serotonin at Birdland Theater Photos by Stephen Mosher

Visit the Stephen Mosher website HERE.




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