The Carlyle Set

Christine Andreas

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The Carlyle Set Review

by Matt Collar

Coming off a successful series of performances at the legendary Cafe Carlyle in New York City in 2000, Broadway mainstay Christine Andreas showcased her impeccable vocal abilities on The Carlyle Set. At once bringing to mind the showstopping style of Barbra Streisand, the swinging energy of Ella Fitzgerald, and the cool melancholy of June Christy, Andreas' talent is as intimate as it is epic. Taking on an elegant and stylishly urbane mix of jazz standards from the American Songbook, Andreas has the type of voice -- clarion, soaringly emotive, goddess-like -- that reminds one why these songs were written in the first place. She digs into a classy version of the '60s ballad "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life," makes the most of a bittersweet "In a Sentimental Mood," and goes for the jugular with a sweetly heartbreaking "Alfie." In short, she sings the heck out of everything. The Carlyle Set also benefits from a stellar backing ensemble, including reedman "Blue Lou" Marini, bassist Dick Sarpola, drummer Ray Marchica, and pianist Lee Musiker, whose cinematic string arrangements performed on synthesizer never sound thin.

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