Monday, 1 July 2013

Gregg Edelman, Crazy Coqs London

Just before the weekend I caught another set at Crazy Coqs, the (newish) cabaret bar that's bar of the Brasserie Zedel complex just off Piccadilly Circus. The multiple Tony-nominated actor Gregg Edelman had come over to sing a selection of Broadway numbers from the centre ground of the tradition of the Great White Way.

This was a exemplary evening of compering and performing, in the style one would expect sitting in some dowtown NY bar any given night of the week. Inbetween numbers by Lerner & Lowe, Sondheim and Kander & Ebb there were stories from his performing experience and introductions to the songs. We were even party to a little tale of his visiting Fred Ebb's brownstone where a mesmerising morning's singalong culminated in the composer John Kander writing a song specially for Edelman. This is the joy of an evening such as this - that one is invited to bear witness to the incremental growth of the Broadway/American Songbook tradition through the actual personalities and practitioners passing on the songs themselves.

Edelman was joined at the piano by a London based pianist, James Church, who was playing well-judged arrangements of the songs; the duo did a great job of finessing a performance that, as these things are, was probably put together on minimal rehearsal.

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