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MP3 Betty Johnson & Lydia Gray - Soft Lights & Sweet Music

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MP3 Betty Johnson & Lydi
Download MP3 Betty Johnson & Lydia Gray - Soft Lights & Sweet Music
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A live cabaret evening- at the posh Cafe Pierre on Fifth Avenue in New York City- as gracious and elegant as you are likely to encounter.

25 MP3 Songs

As appeared in

THE PERFORMING ARTS /FREE PRESS/NEW YORK/MARCH'96 https://www.tradebit.comolph Abate


Comfortable as a shoulder to rest your head on, SOFT LIGHTS AND SWEET MUSIC, featuring singers Betty Johnson and daughter Lydia Gray at the Cafe Pierre, was as gracious and elegant a cabaret evening as you are likely to encounter,

First heard two years ago at the Algonquin hotel, Oak Room, the duo have grown lovelier still, engaging in the kind of careful singing that cares about the voice's cultivation and musicality and sweetness.

Starting out together with a beautifully harmonized "Blue Skies," Mama took over with a swinging "Deed I Do," then led us through some signature-becoming tunes by Bart Howard and songs she made famous in the '50s ("I Dreamed," "Little White Lies," Johnny Mercer's "Dream"), ending her solo portion with a quintessential Johnson rendition of "Time After Time."

Daughter Lydia took over with smoldering renditions of "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" and "Teach Me Tonight," then brought the temperature down with the lovely "When I Look In Your Eyes" (Leslie Bricusse) and Johnny Mandel and Dave Frishberg's touching "You Are There."

Rejoining for the close, they had fun with Irving Berlin's contrapuntal "You're Just Iin Love," renewed close harmonies with Sigmund Romberg's "When I Grow Too Old To Dream,"and, in the penultimate "Precious Memories," a traditional spiritual sung a capella, offered a burnished example of the pure singing tradition these ladies come out of.



There are moments when being a critic feels like one of the most rewarding jobs one could have; one feels grateful for being part of this business. Well, that emotion recently overwhelmed me when I caught BETTY Johnson and daughter LYDIA GRAY in their show, "SOFT LIGHTS AND SWEET MUSIC," at the CAFE PIERRE (through Oct. 28). Mother and daughter work not only well together,but superbly. Ms. Johnson's veteran approach to this program of standards is balanced by Ms. Gray's sweet youthfulness. When performing duets,the two blend so seamlessly,with such a smooth vocal line, that it's almost like listening to one voice. And all this sweetness is not phony. There's an aura of joy which spills over from the small performance area. It's obvious that mother and daughter love and respect one another, and those feelings become palpable during their hour-long show.

Opening duets of "Blue Skies," "Sometimes I'm Happy," and "Side by Side" immediately established the frothy ebullience of much of this show. Ms. Johnson then took over the key light for about ten numbers. I believe that I have rarely heard a more heartfelt reading of the achingly tender "Time After Time," a rendition which brought tears to my eyes. There was a lilting quality to "I'm Confessin' That I Love You," and a wistful tenderness to "I Have Dreamed." An element of fun entered with Ms. Johnson's rendition of one of her early hits, "I Dreamed." Ms. Gray began her portion of the evening with a playful "S'Wonderful" followed by an intimate, cozy rendition of "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to." She brought both a sense of fun and romance to "Shall We Dance" and returned to a caressingly tender mode with "You Are There." Mother and daughter then reunited for several numbers, including a tender"Lullaby" and the spiritual "Whispering Hope."

This is a show to lift your spirits and send you home on a cloud of pure happiness. It represents the talent and wisdom of the past together with the promise of the future.

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