I have a confession to make. Though I thoroughly enjoy a broad spectrum of music, I’ve never really discovered a true appreciation of jazz/swing/lounge music. Over the years, I’ve been exposed to it a bit more. After all – I did marry an Italian, and he loves the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, etc. I’ve become accustomed to hearing it in the background as he sings along, but I admittedly never gave it much of a chance.
My own interest in the genre started to peek through a bit when I discovered Postmodern Jukebox. Perhaps it was their method of taking tunes I was already pleasantly familiar with and transforming them into new presentations that allowed my mind to open a bit? Either way, that slight opening was kicked wide open when I experienced “Bending the Standard” with Haley Reinhart, Dave Damiani, and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. backed by the No Vacancy Orchestra at The Plaza Live!
It was a new style of live performance for me, and one that my more “educated” husband confirmed paid a respectable tribute to the founders of the genre. It was classy and entrancing – peppered with a dash of comedic banter – alluring, polished, engaging, intimate, and simply marvelous. This show was one that genuinely changed my outlook on a brand of entertainment that I’ve neglected for far too long.
The ensemble act rotated between the three diverse vocalists, with a little overlap here and there, all the while being accompanied by a flawless orchestra, highlighted by strong bass and sax instrumental. The rotation featured Dave Damiani, American Idol season ten runner-up (and Postmodern Jukebox vocalist) Haley Reinhart, and America’s Got Talent season six winner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Everything from Frank Sinatra to Soundgarden made the set list. Each vocalist contributed sharply perfected, penetrating, smooth vocals – quite unlike the bulk of today’s mainstream, audio-tuned stars. It brought to light the artistry of true vocal talent in a way that I fear we’ve lost in modern music. Their passion and love of this art was absolutely obvious in the heart of their delivery.
The crowd was perfectly balanced in age representation. I noticed some seniors as well as some grade school aged fans – a perfect display of mass appeal that the performance readily accommodated. Immediately following the show, the talented trio graciously took the time to meet with fans, and their graciousness sincerely equated their on-stage sophistication. This was the epitome of a “class act” in every sense, and the whole experience only left me wanting SO much more! “Bending the Standard” was nothing short of immeasurably impressive.
For more information on the “Bending the Standard” tour and Dave Damiani, check out our exclusive interview with Dave or visit his official website. Learn more about Haley Reinhart here and Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. here.