With each of these brief shows, Ann Kittredge, Christopher Denny, and Matt Berman push the envelope for what’s possible when vocalists and musicians perform from different locations. Presentations are powered by Jam Kazam at which Denny and Berman are experts. Anyone in the business should explore the system for in-sync presentations, both live, and according to Denny, sharp enough to record.
Kittredge opens with Irving Berlin’s “Snow” from the film White Christmas. She has a bright, theater voice and animated presence that would’ve thrived in movie musicals. It virtually glides here evoking experience, not observation. “I’d like to stay up with you, but I need a little shut-eye…” creates an earnest segue into Berlin’s “Free,” written for and cut from Call Me Madam – for being too preachy: “Free from bending down on my knee/To be pushed and shoved/Free to work and play when I please/Free to love and be loved…(The music for “Free” was recycled for “White Christmas.”) Denny picks up every nuanced inflection. (Arrangement by Alex Rybeck.)
With “I Took My Harp to a Party (Nobody asked me to play…)” (Noel Gay/Desmond Carter for British actress, singer, comedienne Gracie Fields), Kittredge showcases just the right degree of wry, pouting delivery.
The host then introduces editor-in-chief of Cabaret Hot Spot/teacher/vocalist David Sabella who apparently has three “Covid Creations” of his own available. A few lines from Rodgers & Hart’s “Lover” lead us into Frank Loesser’s “Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year.” The song is lovely, long-lined and hushed except for a moment of vocal heft one presumes indicates angst.
Kittredge and Sabella then duet “Lovers On Christmas Eve” (Cy Coleman- I Love My Wife.): “Come snow or come slush/This old heart turns to mush…” The song is jaunty, warm and polished. They close with “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (Johnny Marks arranged by Wendy Cavett and Ann Kittredge) sung in infectiously cheery counterpoint, ostensibly because time is short. Lo and behold, it works, especially because of their respective voice levels. As always, Chris Denny’s contribution is thoroughly engaging.
Parts 1 and 2 of this series can be found through Ann’s web site.
Guest Vocalist David Sabella
Accompanist/Arranger/Piano- Christopher Denny
Jam Kazam Tech- Matt Berman
Photos courtesy of Ann Kittridge