Barb Jungr - Live from Cafe Carlyle - Cabaret Scenes
19 March 2009Cabaret Scenes
Expect the unexpected if you're in the audience at a Barb Jungr show. Having made the trek from downtown cabaret to the Upper East Side and the glitz of the Café Carlyle sends a message in and of itself! This down to earth cookie is one hot number as she reaches out grabbing you body and soul with her intensity of style. Is it the usual cabaret experience? An emphatic no!
She's a throwback to the '60s and reminiscent of a hippie in her dress style sans glamour and a powerhouse of strong emotions in her vocal style. A lifetime fan of Bob Dylan, Jungr "forgives him everything...a bit like Picasso" as she paints and strokes his lyric to "You Ain't Going Nowhere."
The theme "The Men I Love" has three parts. Part I: Innocence as in Todd Rundergen's "I Saw the Light" as vocal shadings add a magical softness to the lyric. Jungr is a consummate storyteller who only wants to sing fabulous songs. The first official record she ever owned was Edwin Starr's "Breaking Down The Walls of Heartache" that turns into a foot tapping rendition of a blood-pumping rock song. "I'm A Believer" (Neil Diamond) is presented as a quiet ballad with purity of lyric.
Part II: Resilience: ode to the wounded. "This Old Heart of Mine (Holland/Dozier/Holland & Moy) and "Love Hurts" (Bryants) present a conversational sadness with opportunity to use her vocal flexibility. She is a zany character with a kooky sense of humor as she forgives Paul Simon in "My Little Town" as it resonates like a hymn with personal recollections.
After wonderful stories about her younger days as part of a cult harmony group in England "The Three Courgettes" (zucchinis as we know them), David Byrne and Brian Eno's "Once In a Lifetime" is delivered with a cry and lyrical hand motions. Like a spider spinning, Jungr envelopes her onlookers into her web, weaving Springsteen's "The River" from rock tempo into lyrical ballad. Diamond's "Red Wine" highlights the depth of her strength and presence with just the right natural vocal tremors.
Part III: Redemption where Leonard Cohen's truth "Night Comes On" and the soulful whisper of "Wichita Lineman" (Jimmy Webb) are honest and intelligent eye-openers.
Barb Jungr is a drama of realities with a musical sensibility that proves to be truthful and engaging at every turn. Together with musical director Simon Wallace, you can see this remarkable show at the Café Carlyle thru March 29th.
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