Catalina Jazz Club, Hollywood, CA, June 9, 2014
Reviewed by Les Traub for Cabaret Scenes
Musical Director Tom Griep provided some ambitious arrangements for Maggy Simon, but she handled them in stride during her Catalina performance. While playfully trying to follow the advice she was given, “Don’t Talk, Just Sing,” she managed to find the right balance between both. Opening with a bright “It’s Today," she followed by pointing out that it would have been Cole Porter’s 123rd birthday that day and launched into a lively medley of “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Griep’s arrangement of “Almost Like Being In Love” left plenty of room for Simon to swing, and that’s exactly what she did. Her phrasing and Griep’s rhythmic variations brought new attention to familiar material.
Simon created a challenge for herself by having a full intermission between halves of her show. She met the challenge by returning with an energetic “It’s Better with a Band” featuring her top-flight six-piece band. She showed she could put across ballads, as well, with a sensitive “Here’s That Rainy Day” paired with “Come In from the Rain.” Her take on “Nice ‘n’ Easy” was delightful.
The show was ably directed by Diane Davisson.