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Danny Bacher: A Swinger From Way Back, Here Today – THE ART MUSIC LOUNGE

MAY 1, 2016

DANNY BACHER: SWING THAT MUSIC! / I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song) (Robert Sherman-Richard Sherman); That Old Black Magic (Harold Arlen-Johnny Mercer); Early in the Mornin’ (Jon Hendricks); If It’s Love You Want, Baby, That’s Me (Louis Jordan); Dream a Little Dream of Me (Fabian Andre-Wilbur Schwandt-Gus Kahn); Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby? (Louis Jordan-Billy Austin); A Sunday Kind of Love (Louis Prima-Barbara Belle-Anita Leonard-Stan Rhodes); Just a Gigolo(Leonello Casucci-Julius Brammer) & I Ain’t Got Nobody(Spencer Williams-Roger Graham); St. James Infirmary Blues (Joe Primrose); La Vie en Rose (Louis Louiguy-Edith Piaf) & A Kiss to Build a Dream On (Bert Kalmar-Harry Ruby-Oscar Hammerstein II); Swing That Music (Louis Armstrong-Horace Gerlach) / Danny Bacher, vocal/soprano sax; Warren Vaché, cornet; Pete McGuiness, trombone; Dave Demsey, Houston Person, tenor sax; Jason Teborek, piano; Howard Alden, guitar; Ray Drummond, bass; Bill Goodwin, drums; Cyrille Aimée, vocal (on That Old Black Magic, La Vie en Rose) / Whaling City Sound WCS080

This is the kind of jazz record I sometimes (but not always) pass on for review, not because I am averse to swing era jazz—on the contrary, I love it to death—but because I normally only love the originals. Modern-day recreators, though well-intentioned, normally don’t swing as hard or sound as if they’re into the music.

Well, let me introduce you to Danny Bacher.

Look at the cover of this album. Now, be honest, aren’t you thinking, “A Harry Connick, Jr. clone”? I was. But he’s not. On the contrary, Connick sounds like a poor man’s Danny Bacher. Bacher sings like a cross between Bobby Darin at his hippest and Jon Hendricks…and that just takes in his vocal abilities, which include a light, skimming beat, very hip phrasing and an ability to scat with the best of them. On top of this, he also plays a very good soprano sax. And he plays it, folks…not just blowing airy “soft jazz” like Kenny G.

Essentially, this disc is a continuation of the wonderful concerts Bacher gave last year (2015) in which he paid tribute to the “three Louis’…Armstrong, Prima and Jordan.” But he doesn’t just ape their original records, although his tempos on That Old Black Magic and Just a Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody are virtually identical to those of the old Louis Prima versions. He completely reworks them, putting his own joyous and personal stamp on the music. He keeps them jazz classics and doesn’t let them degenerate into third-rate cocktail lounge performances. Added to all his musical abilities is a wonderful tongue-in-cheek sense of humor…listen to the way he sings those suggestive lines in If It’s Love You Want Baby, That’s Me, or the way he jumps into Louis Prima’s Jungle Book showstopper, I Wanna Be Like You. But for me, personally, the best test of this man’s talent is the balld A Sunday Kind of Love. For those who forget, it was introduced in 1947 by Fran Warren, an over-singing ballad belter with the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. Although I liked the song and loved the Thornhill band, I couldn’t stomach Warren’s delivery of the lyrics (sorry, I’m not susceptible to “torch singers,” I always want to torch them myself). Bacher takes it nice and slow, he gives the words their full value, but thank goodness, he phrases like a jazz singer, which he is. He makes the song work.

Aiding and abetting Bacher in his musical journey is an absolutely splendid and highly professional band, including cornetist Warren Vaché in a rare outing where he is called upon to play in a progressive swing style and not like one of King Oliver’s or Jelly Roll Morton’s brass players. His solos are crackling and inventive: evidently, he responded well to this environment (though he sounds more like Ruby Braff than Louis Armstrong on Swing That Music). The sax players are also excellent, including a guest visit by Houston Person. I was also knocked out by the singing of Cyrille Aimée in duet with Bacher on That Old Black Magic and the medley/duet ofLa Vie en Rose and A Kiss to Build a Dream On; she is one of those extremely rare female jazz singers who use a light, slightly nasal delivery yet sounds hip, not breathy and submissive. I want to hear more of her…a lot more.

To recap, this isn’t a jazz album that breaks any new ground or pushes the envelope. Make no mistake about that. But it is a jazz album that revisits the past and pays it honor rather than just ripping off old songs and pretending that the delivery sounds fresh. It is fresh because Bacher has such boundless energy and enthusiasm for this music, and obviously loves it. His website bio indicates that he is also a comedian and a playwright. Oh, please, Danny, don’t let those skills push your jazz to the side! Hang on to what you have and develop it, don’t let it atrophy. The world is a better place for skills like yours. It’s also a better place because of this CD.

— © 2016 Lynn René Bayley


Jazziz Magazine

Tributes to the Louies – Armstrong, Prima and Jordan – are nothing new. For years, artists with a penchant for finger-popping have doffed a cap to one or more of them, and with good reason: They’re among the most significant music makers of the 20th century. Vocalist and soprano saxophonist Danny Bacher is the latest to tie together the Louis legacies on his invigorating new CD Swing That Music! (Whaling City Sound).

 Bacher receives sterling support from a topnotch little big band featuring all-stars such as guitarist Howard Alden, cornetist Warren Vache, trombonist Pete McGuinness and bassist Ray Drummond. Song selections play like a dream jukebox, featuring a slate of tunes that connect jazz and blues to jump-swing and rock ‘n’ roll. Bacher’s tenor vocals provide a sturdy vehicle for the music, and he pulls plenty of fire from his sax, undoubtedly inspired by the musicians he honors – ace solosits all – as well as those on the session. Bacher shares the mic with the charming Cyrille Aimee for a medly that pairs “La Vie en Rose” with “A Kiss to Build a Dream On.” both romantic staples of the Armstrong repertoire. AImee sings the former in her native French (a la Edith Piaf) as a prelude to Bacher’s supple croon on the latter. Pianist Jason Teborek, bassist Drummond and drummer Bill Goodwin are spot-on, and Vache honors Pops’ horn without imitating him.

Click on the image below for a closer look at the text

CabaretScenes CD Review

Reviewed by Alix Cohen for Cabaret Scenes

The title, Swing That Music!, is a little like saying: tomorrow the sun will rise. Swing is a given; it’s under this performer’s skin like bones. Arrangements celebrate and respect. Call/respond numbers are performed with brio. Solo vocals have an attitude that can be imitated, but sound authentic coming from this young man.

Bacher’s CD is bookended by two HAPPY selections. “I Wan’na Be Like You (The Monkey Song)” (Robert B. Sherman/Richard M. Sherman) is serious fun. High‐spirited, infectious rhythm drives bebop and melodically doodling scat. “Swing That Music” (Louis Armstrong/Horace Gerlach) lets several musicians step up as if in friendly competition, playing “Truth or Dare.” Bacher’s vocal starts a cappella, then swings out, groove‐minded and giddy.

The urbane “If It’s Love You Want, Baby, That’s Me” (Sid Robin) includes a wry, spoken segment by Bacher: “…come over to my place, there’ll be close encounters…dollface….” (That last word actually seems natural.) Performance evokes Astaire‐style tap. Very cool guitar enhances.

Southern inflection emerges with “Early in the Mornin’” (Louis Jordan) and “St. James Infirmary Blues” (traditional). Bacher is relaxed and fluent enough to get away with the pronunciation of words like “no mo” (no more) and “mo‐oh‐oh‐nin” (morning). During the first song, some homey grit appears. A horn swings its hips. The brass pack responds with resonant wolf whistles. “Infirmary” is an iconic, wah‐wah N’Orleans march. One horn emits a dusky wail. Another comments heavy‐lidded, in slang. Vocals stretch like taffy. It’s fraught, unfussy and dignified.

The CD features two duets with vocalist Cyrille Aimée. An up‐tempo “That Old Black Magic” (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer) finds Aimée breathily rounding consonants, trailing her ‘s’, channeling Eartha Kitt. Bacher holds notes in his mouth as if wine tasting, then spits them out fast. Vive, as they say, la difference. (Long live the difference.)

A tandem “La Vie en rose”(Edith Piaf/Marguerite Monnot/Louis Guglielmi) / “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” (Bert Kalmar/Harry Ruby/Oscar Hammerstein II) is sheer panache. Aimée sings in warm, gauzy French, or hums. Bacher‐as‐balladeer suavely ambles in, eyebrows up, hands in his pockets. Piano is eeeaaasssy. A dreamy horn one might follow anywhere floats by remembering. The two songs sync like newlyweds.

“Dream a Little Dream of Me” (Fabian Andre/Wilber Schwandt/Gus Kahn) again showcases Bacher‐as‐balladeer. This one swings smoothly like a hammock. Piano melody strolls around the old porch. Languid horns stretch and curl up. Vibrato appears at the end of phrases. The number recedes with an evocative whistle. Aplomb. (Hoagy Carmichael would’ve loved this one.)

Jon Hendricks’ “I Want You to Be My Baby” riding caffeinated piano and pinball horn, to me, lacked personal stamp. The same might be said for “Just a Gigolo” (Irving Caesar/Leonello Casucci/Jules Brammer) and “I Ain’t Got Nobody” (Roger Hraham/Spencer Williams) which
sounds too chipper by half.

This is a fine CD, both for those who are already fans of the period (hold that banner high) and those who want to dip into it, eschewing total immersion. Musicianship is superior. (As is production.) A good listen.

JazzFlits Review

The swing and rhythm & blues, which developed alongside bebop in the 1940s, are still being used as a source of inspiration. British pop singer Joe Jackson already revived the festive jump & jive in a distant past. Over here, in the Netherlands, we have (had) several bands which did the same. The name Jump’n Jive from Zwolle comes to mind. And the Amsterdam Bob Color, although they moved onto rock ’n roll. At the time, that was also the direction this music took: swing – jump ’n jive/rhythm & blues – rock ’n roll. But all this aside.
Danny Bacher is a young American singer, who knows his business. You can hear a touch of Michael Bublé in him, but with plenty of drive and lots of swinging. Bacher has a lot of fun performing, and it shows. He draws from the work of Louis Jordan for  the jump and rhythm & blues. He gets ballads from Louis Armstrong, and polite rock ’n roll from Louis Prima, including the medley ‘Just a gigolo/I ain’t got nobody’. Upon first hearing, Bacher uses the possibilities which are given to him a bit politely, but equally lashes out considerably. He’s not only a singer, but also the soprano saxophonist. Bacher moves through the repertoire with ease, aided here and there by the French-American singer Cyrille Aimée. Of course she takes care of ‘La vie en rose’, sung in French. I suspect a lot of dancing goes on during his concerts. This music demands it.
Hessel Fluitman, translated from Dutch by Nico Cartenstadt

“Swing That Music!” CD Review

Danny Bacher burst onto the American scene like a meteor, however, a meteor quickly burns in the dense layers of the atmosphere. But as for Danny Bacher and his career , on the contrary, is steadily going up, which is confirmed by the warm reviews in the pages of leading American publications. For example, The New York Times. It can be heard in Danny Bacher’s debut album, Swing That Music! issued by Whaling City Sound, that there is something he possesses that deeply affects the souls of Americans, causing them to love and take a nostalgic pleasure with what he is doing.

At first I did not quite understand the announcement, in which the album, “Swing That Music!” which was presented as a compilation of “new classics”. At first I thought that it was about a symbiosis of classical music and jazz, modern arrangements of European musical classics. However, after listening to the album, I agreed that in fact these are classics, but with a new feel presenting the American music of Louis Armstrong, Prima and Jordan – Danny Bacher revives these tunes for the contemporary listener. His program – is a tribute to the above-mentioned three Louis. And if you remember the career of each, the main thing that unites them – all three were great entertainers. It’s hard to pick an adequate Russian translation of this term. Danny Bacher is a musician, singer, comedian, actor, showman – all in one package! A native of New Jersey, he, unlike many contemporaries, was fascinated since childhood in such music through a record collection of his grandparents. Danny studied music starting in childhood, and soprano saxophone became his main instrument. When in college, where there was a very strong jazz program, He was able to study both his music, and theatre. Already a professional comedian and writer out of college, Bacher, in conversation with his former teacher Roseanna Vitro came to the idea of this project that we are presenting today.

The Program, “Swing That Music!” is made up of compositions from the repertoire of three Louis. The earliest thing here – the traditional interpretation of the St James Infirmary Blues, Armstrong recorded for the first time in 1928, where Bacher is reasonable without trying to imitate the vocal style of Satchmo, it’s as if giving a new luster to this old diamond. The latest composition – “I Wanna Be Like You” from Disney’s 1967 animated film “The Jungle Book”, was sang by Louis Prima. The new version of the tune features a scat duet with Bacher and trombonist/singer/arranger Pete McGuinness. A great scat at that!

All the other tracks of the album are located in the interval between these two dates. And each of them, Bacher interprets in a modern way, not excluding even the fragments in the Rap,“If It’s Love You Want Baby, That’s Me” from the repertoire of Jordan. However, the basis of his music – still swing, and perhaps not coincidentally, the name of the album, an Armstrong hit in the 1930s, “Swing That Music!” has a great team of musicians, which are all names in the jazz world. Cornetist Warren Vache, one of the best masters of traditional jazz, and also tenor saxophone Titan, Houston Person! There are two songs in which Danny sings a duet with Cyrille Aimee, the French singer, who lives in Brooklyn. She gives a special charm to the famous, “Old Black Magic” (from the repertoire of Prima) and also on the medley, “La Vie En Rose / A Kiss to Build a Dream On.”

Yes, of course the Americans may call this music “new classics”, but for jazz lovers from our continent, this is more than Neo Swing. (This term was in fashion about fifteen years ago, but has since gone out of fashion and is all but forgotten.) However, If you like this cheerful, call to dance, music inspired by genuine jazz swing, Danny Bacher’s, “Swing That Music!” is for you!!!

Translated from Russian by Julia Tokareva


Review: ‘Swing That Music,’ – THE NEW YORK TIMES

Effortless Fun in a Tribute to Jazz Forerunners

-The New York Times

The secret of serious fun is not to take it too seriously, especially if it involves playing jazz. That attitude is something that the easygoing singer and saxophonist Danny Bacher, who appeared with a small swing band at the Metropolitan Room on Tuesday evening, knows in his bones. It is about making hot music but staying cool, about cutting up while maintaining effortless self-control, about having a blast with friends. And at his performance of “Swing That Music,” a homage to the era of jumpin’ jive with a dollop of Dixieland, Mr. Bacher conflated the music of three Louises — Armstrong, Jordan and Prima — in a concert revealing him to be a prodigiously talented musical preservationist.

Mr. Bacher may not yet have as defined a musical personality as his forerunners, but his performance was much more than a nostalgic pastiche. Gathered around him was a first-rate lineup of seasoned traditional jazzmen led by the pianist Allen Farnham, and featuring Warren Vache on cornet, Jay Rodriguez on tenor sax and Noah Bless on trombone.

Except for the playful interpolation of a few contemporary references into lyrics, Mr. Bacher took few liberties with the material, mostly from the ’40s and ’50s. Of the three Louises, Prima was the one he channeled most effectively in “That Old Black Magic” (the guest vocalist, Vanessa Racci, sang the Keely Smith role) and in a recreation of “Just a Gigolo” and “I Ain’t Got Nobody.”

Mr. Bacher’s voice is smoother than Prima’s rasp, but in his bebop solos he revealed enough of his inner wild man to suggest a maniac behind the cool. “I Wanna Be Like You (The Monkey Song),” from “The Jungle Book,” in particular, made me grin. It was a reminder that behind its academic trappings, a prime element of jazz has always been a game of monkey see, monkey do.

Inside The 2nd Night of the 26th New York Cabaret Convention

Jeff Harnar & Andrea Marcovicci hosted the second day of the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s New York Cabaret Convention. The Donald Smith Award was presented to Jeff by managing director Rick Meadows and Debbi Bush Whiting presented Celia Berk with The Margaret Whiting Award. Performing in the evenings concert were: Karen Akers, Danny Bacher, Julie Budd, Carole J. Bufford, Eric Comstock, Natalie Douglas, barbara Fasano, Jeff Harnar, Nicolas King, Karen Kohler, Andrea Mardovicci, Marissa Mulder, Todd Murray, Josephine Sanges, Jennifer Sheehan and Iris Williams.

The Mabel Mercer Foundation’s 26th Annual Cabaret Convention Comes Home to Town Hall

On the second night of this year’s 26th Annual Cabaret Convention, Jeff Harnar and Andrea Marcovicci (photo left) hosted A Sentimental Journey: World War II Songs, inspired by Marcovicci’s memorable Oak Room at The Algonquin show, I’ll Be Seeing You–Love Songs of World War II. (The CD is highly recommended.) As always with this pair’s Convention contribution, the show was a treat in part because of its singular glamour. Much of our audience was exceptionally familiar with and nostalgic about these songs. A few had to be politely quieted for singing along, more than a few took each other’s hands. It seems I’ve heard that song before . . . the co-hosts begin, warming the room.


The scintillating Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano offered four numbers of varying stripes from the wry “Latin From Manhattan” (Harry Warren/Al Dubin) to a luxuriously romantic “But Beautiful” (Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke), framed by a whisper of brushes, a hint of shimmering cymbal. Despite the rationale that this was “everything our boys were fighting for,” I found an updated selection from Oklahoma out of place. (Eric Comstock-piano, Sherrie Maricle-drums, Jered Egan-bass)

This year’s Margaret Whiting Award was given to Celia Berk (photo left), whose meteoric rise is reflective not only of her talent but of her hard work. (Young performers take note.) While Frank Loesser‘s “They’re Either Too young or Too Old” lacked flirty lightness, Jule Styne/ Sammy Cahn‘s “I’ll Walk Alone” was touching, reflective; right on. (Alex Rybeck-piano)

An evocative “J’Attendrai”–“I Will Wait”–(Dino Olivieri/Louis Poterat) was beautifully rendered in French by Karen Akers, who seems to climb inside a song and embody the scenario it creates. Stirring. (Don Rebec-piano) Jeff Harnar received The Donald Smith Award (generously underwritten by Adela and Larry Elow) from a visibly moved Rick Meadows. The Foundation’s Managing Director recalled Harnar’s unconditional devotion to Smith, especially during the latter’s illness. Many of us can testify to Harnar’s selflessness and to the enduring friendship of Smith and his protégé. This recognition was secondary to acknowledging the development of Harnar’s talent of course, but made it all the more apt. Smith is surely proud.

“I’m Old Fashioned” (Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer) and “Long Ago and Far Away” (Jerome Kern/Ira Gershwin) were “made famous by Rita Hayworth.” Seeing Jennifer Sheehan perform them with satiny legato and open-faced grace one could easily imagine the artist as every soldier’s dream of the girl next door. Consider doing a Hayworth show, Jennifer. (James Followell-piano.)

Closing Act One, Karen Kohler‘s (photo right) signature “Lili Marlene” (Hans Leip/Norbert Schultze), sung in English and German, has never sounded so completely a moving anti-war cri de coeur–passionate appeal, complaint, or protest. (Sean Harkness-guitar)

Andrea Marcovicci rendered an extremely moving version of “These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You)” (Eric Maschwitz/ Jack Strachey), conjuring every recollection with bittersweet poignancy, tearing herself away from each vision with regret. (Alex Rybeck-piano.) Jeff Harnar‘s “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon” (English version Sammy Cahn/Saul Chaplin) was sheer, infectious glee. Great arrangement. (Alex Rybeck-piano, vocal, Jered Egan-bass, vocal)

The successful evening ended with a sing-along of “Sentimental Journey” (Les Brown & Ben Homer/ Bud Green) (Jon Weber-piano.)

Other performances:

Danny Bacher (Convention debut) delivered an easy, swing version of Johnny Mercer‘s 1944 “G.I. Jive” (Jason Teborek-piano); Todd Murray (photo) sang a swoony number from his delicious show Croon, accompanied by Nick Marchione‘s unfortunately harsh trumpet (Alex Rybeck-piano); Sophisticate Iris Williams offered a stagy version of “The Last Time I Saw Paris” (Art Weiss-piano); Carole J. Bufford brought the house down with pithy selections from her splendid show Heart of Gold: A Portrait of the Oldest Profession–Hollywood Bowl, here she comes!

Making her Convention debut, Josephine Sanges‘ lovely vocals had, alas, no feeling (John M.Cook- piano); Julie Budd (Convention debut) performed two expansive, vibrato-driven selections (Herb Bernstein-piano), and dueted a bright, bouncy swing number with Natalie Douglas (Jered Egan-very cool bass); Douglas’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (Kim Gannon/Walter Kent) was tenderly low key (Jon Weber-piano); Vera Lynn‘s “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” though well vocalized by Nicholas King, arrived all technique (Mike Renzi-piano); Marissa Mulder‘s “I’ll Be Seeing You” was utterly lovely, every lyric savored. (Jon Weber-piano, Jered Egan-bass)

The Friars Club Presents Danny Bacher’s SWING THAT MUSIC

The Milton Berle Room heard the sounds of past Friars, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, and Louis Prima last night as Danny Bacher brought his show Swing That Music to the club. BroadwayWorld was there for the fun. The club has been home to many of the music world’s past legends and Danny Bacher‘s music added to that storied tradition. Joining Danny for the evenings music and comedy were comedian Marla Schultz and jazz vocalist Alexis Cole along with Danny’s 7 piece band.


Cast Your Ballots For Danny

For 2015 New York Cabaret Awards in 14 Categories; Voting Ends 12/31

On Thanksgiving Day, BroadwayWorld announced the nominees in 14 categories for the 2015 BWW New York Cabaret Awards. BroadwayWorld’s cabaret editors and reviewers congratulate all the deserving nominees and everyone who performs in the great art of cabaret in New York. But today, as you munch on the leftovers from last night’s dinner, it’s time to actually vote for that one performer who you think is the absolute best in each category. Just click on the voting link below. Voting ends on December 31 and after a review of the ballots, winners will be announced officially early the week of January 4, 2016. (Note: There will not be a BWW Awards Show this year.)

Please cast your vote by visiting this link: /cabaret/vote2015region.cfm

Voting Guidelines: You cast a vote by visiting the link above or below and submitting your email address. We strongly urge voters not to abuse this process by voting with multiple email addresses. If BroadwayWorld detects irregularities in the voting based on finding similar email addresses, those votes will be eliminated. We again urge all nominees to solicit votes from people who actually saw your shows and to suggest they vote in as many categories as possible.

Cast your vote by simply checking one nominee in each of the award categories. If you have no choice or favorite in any particular category, simply choose ‘No Nominee.’ After submitting your vote, you will receive an electronic confirmation via e-mail. If you submit your e-mail address incorrectly, your vote will be disqualified. All personal information will be kept completely private.

Urban Stages Winter Rhythms

Show Celebrating Famous Duets Is Widely Varied and Entertaining

Described as “An Afternoon of Famous Duets,” Saturday’s Urban Stages Winter Rhythms presentation (Day Four of the 11-day, 20-show festival) was unexpectedly sweeping in its approach, covering duos that sang pop, folk, jazz, Great American Songbook, and musical theater tunes. With veteran cabaret singer Sue Matsuki serving as producer and host, and Musical Director Gregory Toroian on piano (there were also three guest accompanists), the show encompassed both the predictable (Steve Allen’s “This Could Be the Start of Something Big” as popularized by Steve Lawrence/Eydie Gorme, here buoyantly performed by Matsuki and Ed Clark) and the surprising (“The Prayer”–David Foster/Carole Bayer Sager/Alberto Testa/Tony Renis–recorded by Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion for the animated film Quest for Camelot, and here beautifully rendered by soprano Sarah Rice and tenor Robert Mattern in English and Italian). The show was a genuine pleasure.

Sarah Rice, whom I recall seeing as angelic-voiced “Johanna” in the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, offered (in addition to “The Prayer”) a duet of “Scarborough Fair” universalized by Simon and Garfunkel, with wonderfully hushed vocal by David Vernon (photo right). These two made the song as haunting as it’s ever been, melody wafting into the stilled theater with eloquent restraint.

Rob Langeder and wife Stacie Perlman Langeder sang an energetic “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (Ashford & Simpson); Dana Lorge and Warren Schein performed a comic “Quando, Quando, Quando” (Tony Renis/Alberto Testa), during which a frisky moustache changed location; Joan Crowe and Greg Paul (also on guitar) ably sang Phil Collins/Marilyn Martin’s “Separate Lives”; Robert Mattern and real-life partner John Patrick Schutz dueted an evocative “Lily’s Hazel Eyes” (Lucy Simon/Marsha Norman) from The Secret Garden; with Matthew Martin Ward on piano, Carole Demas overacted on Frank Loesser’s “The Ugly Duckling” from Hans Christian Anderson–too bad, she seems to have a nice instrument; Mardie Millit and Daryl Glenn (with Karen Dryer on piano) delivered a rendition of Stephen Sondheim’s “A Little Priest” that was cute where it might have been wry.

Susan Winter was joined by Tom Gamblin (in full drag regalia, left) for a recreation of the Judy Garland/Barbra Streisand duet, “Get Happy” (Harold Arlen/Ted Koehler) and “Happy Days Are here Again” (Milton Ager/Jack Yellen). Both singers have excellent voices. The fine, familiar arrangement was well served with infectious spirit and innate balance that I would encourage them to employ in a full show of any theme.

Mark Aaron James and Ina May Wool (with guitar) performed Stevie Nicks’ “Leather and Lace”-Wool replete with a Nicks-like wig and spot-on inflection; Scott Albertson and Flip Peters (also on guitar) offered “Peaceful Easy Feelin'” (Jack Tempchin) with affectionate folk flavor; Gregory Toroian and wife Renee sang the non-traditional version of “Mockingbird,” emulating James Taylor and Carly Simon; Matsuki and Toroian duoed on “A Fine Romance” (Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields), during which she was aptly low key, he intent on his own jazz.

A tandem “La Vie en Rose” (Louis Guglielmi-English lyrics by Mack David/Frank Eyton-inspired duet by Tony Bennett & kd Lang) and “A Kiss to Build a Dream On” (Bert Kalmae/Harry Ruby/Oscar Hammerstein, duet by Bing Crosby & Louis Armstrong) was performed by Danny Bacher and Charenee Wade (photo right), a special guest for Bacher’s most recent Metropolitan Room show, Swing That Music. It’s a match made in heaven. From Wade’s satiny, caressing voice (reminiscent of Billie Holiday) to Bacher’s gloriously easy swing replete with soprano sax turn, the two were absolutely elegant.

2015 MetroStar winner Minda Larsen and 2nd runner-up Josephine Sanges (with John Cook on piano) closed the show with Stephen Schwartz’s pop song “There Can Be Miracles” from the Disney film Prince of Egypt. On the recognizable Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston duet, Sanges’ voice emerged warm, aptly restrained, and round-edged, while Larsen’s evidenced superb control, seamless octave changes, and obvious acting ability. Vocal arrangement was just right. The ladies offered the timely sentiment with enthusiasm and skill.

Displaying Vintage Performing Savoir Faire

DANNY BACHER Swings The Louis’–Armstrong, Prima, Jordan–at the Metropolitan Room

-Broadway World

Danny Bacher has the performance ease of an artist who’s spent twice his years on the circuit. His preternatural feel for swing delivers scrupulous control, hip, unfussy phrasing, nuanced inflection, and the kind of fluent, savory scat “wordless vocables” I haven’t heard from a man in some time, certainly not one so young. His soprano saxophone and singing are so like one another in attitude and energy, Bacher epitomizes the musician whose instrument acts as solid manifestation of voice.

His new CD release celebration show at the Metropolitan Room, Swing That Music (last performance of a four-show run today at 4 pm) is a jazz tribute to the three Louis’ (photo below, left to right): Louis Armstrong–Satchmo (1901-1971), Louis Prima–The King of Swing before Benny Goodman came along (1910-1978), and Louis Jordan–King of the Jukebox (1908-1975.) Musical numbers get along like the old friends they are, brushing shoulders, poking one another in the ribs, slapping backs. The show is well paced with next to no patter.

If you want a guy with class who’s way above the mass/Well, I’m not the right person obviously/But if you want to get that glow from a cat that’s in the know/If it’s love you want, baby, that’s me . . . (Louis Jordan.) With a raised eyebrow and a shrug, Bacher makes the insouciant lyric conversational, leaning out to women at the front tables. Some of it is talking in tune, some effortlessly sung.

An up-tempo “I Want You To Be My Baby” (Jon Hendricks) with tongue-twisting verse requires audience participation. I (I)/I want (I want)/I want you (I want you)/I want you to (I want you to) . . . you get the idea. Bonhomie reigns. The crowd understands before being invited. Pete McGuinness (trombone) briefly takes expert flight. “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” (Louis Jordan), which reached #1 on 1944 US folk/country charts, is infectiously rhythmic. Bacher’s tinted-southern accent sounds just right. His mid tenor voice is smooth- never blaring, never flagging. Gestures are blessedly minimal.

Taut, jacked up phrases with long vocal tails deliver the iconic “St. James Infirmary” (Traditional) about the wages of sin. The incomparable Warren Vache (cornet) comes in with heavy lidded, hip swingin’, Sazerac-soaked passages of sheer insinuation. Danny weaves musical macramé on his horn. Other brass punctuates. The song’s last phrase–And if anyone should happen to ask you/I’ve got those gamblers’ blues . . . rolls around the vocalist’s mouth like tobacco readying spit.

Friday night’s Guest Vocalist Gabrielle Stravelli begins their first duet with a swaying, brush and bass version of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose” (in French.) Pronunciation is pristine. Facial expression reflects her vibrant, declaratory voice. Danny picks up existing accompaniment with an airbrushed “A Kiss To Build a Dream On” (Harry Ruby /Oscar Hammerstein II/ Bert Kalmar). Even consonants are soft. Single syllable words ripple with multiple notes. Vache’s contribution oozes romance. “That Old Black Magic” (Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer)–also a duet, is a whirlwind. Jason Teborek sounds like he has four hands on the piano. Tim Horner’s drums are robust, rapid fire, and multi-layered. Vocalists are visibly having fun, playing well off one another. Then the singers come together. Lovely.

Swoony highlights include Gus Kahn’s “Dream a Little Dream” and “Sunday Kind of Love” (Louis Prima.) Danny sings “Dream” like he means it. While polished, there’s nothing artificial in his style. Message is not taken for granted. His saxophone doodles around the melody with piano as a soft shoe sidekick. Sunday emerges on gentle percussion and Dean Johnson’s mellow bass. Teborek adds breezy flourishes. It’s a white dinner jacket, country club dance number. Jay Rodriguez’s fingers dance across his shadowy tenor sax as if sheer energy, propelled by nothing so clumsy as a hand.

“I Wanna Be Like You,” written by Richard and Robert Sherman for Disney’s The Jungle Book (“My tribute to Louis Prima as an orangutan,” says Bacher) doesn’t weigh in despite great scat conversation between Danny and McGuiness. And I’ve never liked the hard charging interpretation “Just a Gigolo” (Irving Caesar) with “I Ain’t Got Nobody” (Julius Brammer/R. Graham/ S. Williams), whose ebullience is in direct contradiction to lyrics.

Bacher’s director, the outstanding Marilyn Maye, joins him on stage for his encore– “Honeysuckle Rose” (Fats Waller/Andy Razoff.) It’s flat out terrific. Both artists riff; jump in, move away, scat, sing, respect, and enjoy one another. Bennie Goodman once called jazz “free speech in music.” Here it is in its best, symbiotic form.

The band is mind-bendingly fine.

Danny Bacher is the real deal; a musician to watch.

As for Bacher’s CD of Swing That Music (excerpts from the show), it is beautifully produced, showcasing infectious arrangements and virtuoso musicianship. (See video about the making of the CD below.)

What’s On Your Playlist?

Newcomer, singer/saxophonist Danny Bacher grew up in Wayne, New Jersey, home to one of the !nest Jazz Departments in the country at William Patterson University. As a high school student, Bacher received much of his informal training there playing with student ensembles, attending workshops, and meeting jazz icons such as Norman Simmons, Rufus Reid, Ray Brown, and watching the likes of Sonny Rollins, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Joe Williams perform. He later graduated from New Jersey City University’s Music and Theater program with a concentration in Jazz Performance.

Bacher continues to pass on his enthusiasm for jazz to his students now, while getting ready to launch his debut album in 2015, Swing That Music. The disc features an impressive array of contemporary jazz luminaries including Ray Drummond, Warren Vache, Howard Alden, Bill Goodwin, Houston Person, Pete McGuinness, Jason Teborek, and rising vocal star, Cyrille Aimée. Danny’s friend and former sax teacher, Dr. David Demsey of WPU, also lends his talents to the project. Rounding out this dream team is executive producer Suzi Reynolds and Grammy-nominated producer Roseanna Vitro.



Music has been added to the cafe menu at Le Cirque on Mondays. The world famous restaurant has an exciting line up of cabaret and Jazz artists appearing in their cafe every Monday starting at 7:30 PM. This week, Danny Bacher was featured and you can check out photos from the event below!

There is no cover charge and Bill’s Famous cocktails, and a wide selection of beers and wine are offered in addition to Light fare from the Bar menu or a prix fixe French Affair. Le Cirque is located at One Beacon Court 151 E. 58th Street.
Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff

Finally I can Hear the Waiter and My Love

There are not too many places we “adults” can frequent that offer the old world ambience of glamour, gourmet cuisine, and sophisticated music.   The world famous Le Cirque now offers it in it’s Cafe Le Cirque on Mondays.   The Maccioni family have a love of music as well as food and they now serve up both in the romantic setting of the Cafe.  There are not many things that I can predict but I’m sure you will love the food, love the music and, most likely, love the people you are with when you are in the Cafe.   The music is exciting but at the same time conducive to romantic and friendly conversation.

This week it was the soft swinging sounds of the Dan Bacher quartet.  Just the right songbook and sound for the room.  On June 17th it’s going to be the very beautiful, elegant, and talented La Tanya Hall creating the music.   I finally heard the “Specials” and also heard the special people at my table!

Le Cirque is located at 151 E. 58th Street

Hoboken Digest

Edward’s Steakhouse isn’t just Great Steaks – Live Music and Nightly Specials Complete This Unrivaled Steakhouse.

Leave the hustle and bustle of Jersey City behind for an elegant night at Edward’s Steakhouse. The festive music and upscale dining set the ambiance for any special occassion.

Weekly menu specias are sure to surprise and delight you. Some recent specials have included The Angry Lobster, Alaskan Halibut, and Florida Grouper. Edward’s Steakhouse offers innovative steak specials as well as an ever changing oyster selection. Thir weekly specials are posted on their website at and you can follow them on twitter and facebook.

To complete the dining experience, Edward’s Steakhouse features saxophone and vocals by Danny Bacher on Wednesdays and Thurday evenings. His pleasant and soothing sounds create the perfect backdrop for an evening with friends or family.

Jersey City Magazine

Danny Bacher holds forth at Edward’s Steakhouse, wowing the crowd with his soprano sax and jazz vocals. He says he’s worked hard to get a “great sound” out of his soprano sax, which sets him apart from the more popular alto and tenor saxes.

Though Bacher is only 33, he loves the American Songbook, which includes standards by Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, and George Gershwin. He works in the mode of Bucky and John Pizzarelli, John Feinstein, Ella Fitzgerald, and Muchael Buble.

“Edward’s has a super club kind of feel, and there are sophisticated vibes,” both of which fit well with his style of music. “Edward’s has a 1940’s feel with abanquettes,” he says. “I play in front of a big red curtain, and there are pictures of great musicians like Duke Ellington, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Count Basic, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin.”

Bacher says that on any given night, he’ll play to 20 somethings and 60 somethings. “The music I do is very much appreciated by all ages,” he says, “It’s timeless.”

“What’s so intriguiing about music of that caliber are the wonderful lyrics and positive message,” he says. He gets requets for “Misty”, “Girl from Ipanema,” but he bulks at Sinatra’s “My Way.”

“I’m a young guy,” he says “and that should be sung by someone in the twilight of his years.”

Bacher, who is from Wayne, NJ, has been making a living as a musician since college. When he was growing up in the 1980s he couldn’t get into Def Leopard and heavy metal like Black Sabbath. He was listening to Cab Calloway.

“The jazz idiom, that’s what interests me.” he says.

“Edward’s is unique.” he says. “It has great atmosphere, great food, and great music if I do say so myself. I fell lucky and proud to be able to express myself on a nightly basis as an artist.”


For Info, Booking and More

Suzi Reynolds & Associates, LLC
Suzi Reynolds​
​Tel:  201.947.0961

Mariany Segura – Senior Associate
Tel: 201.947.0218

Steve Frumkin/JWP agency
Tel: 941-924-8452

PUBLICITYScott Thompson PR
Tel: 203.400.1818

To inquire for booking, on-air opportunities, special appearances, or interviews please fill out the form below and we will get back to you shortly.


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Contact Danny Bacher
Tel: 973-204-6374


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