This was such an extensive programme that I won't attempt to list every number. Some were well known, such as The way you look tonight, Cole Porter's In the still of the night or Jonny Mercer's I remember you. But I was surprised just how many I didn't know, as Marlene explored the vast reaches of what is known generically as the Great American Songbook. Irving Berlin's The best thing for you would be me; I give up, I'm in love; The rules of the road; Cole Porter's You'd be so easy to love; Don't worry 'bout me; Gershwin's I was a fool to fall and get that way; and a particular request by Michael Eagleton, Rogers and Hart's I never knew what time it was. Rogers and Hammerstein's It might as well be spring featured a terrific solo break by John Pearce. I think my favourite piece of the evening was Where can I go without you, made famous by Peggy Lee. Marlene closed with a spirited Before the parade passes by from Hello Dolly, and then, as an encore, generously gave us The lies of handsome men. Plenty there for our audience to whistle on the way home!
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A remarkable evening with an extraordinary grande dame of the jazz scene.
Marlene VerPlanck has been performing for well over half a century and yet there's still springtime in her voice! A full two hour programme of jazz standards and Broadway classics and yet she still gave us an encore at the end. Amazing!
The band was pretty useful too - great piano playing by John Pearce, ably assisted by Bobby Worth on kit and Paul Morgan on bass.