Judy Collins Weaves Her Magic at Café Carlyle
By: Sandi Durell
Slim in glittery black sequins, with a mane of silvery white hair, the iconic Judy
Collins took the stage at the legendary Café Carlyle to regale her enthusiastic
audience of friends and fans with the music that has brought her to the epitome
of her career, now 57 years in the making.
Growing up a music prodigy in a house filled with lots of Rodgers and Hammerstein, she made her debut at the age of 10 and it never stopped. Her incredible career has
been notable as a musician-singer-songwriter, her soprano voice as crystalline
and stunning as ever.
Speaking to her audience as though we were friends sitting together in her living room,
her stories abounded, whether it had to do with the recent Pulitzer Prize
winning Bob Dylan, whom she met early on as a homeless kid known as Robert
Allen Zimmerman, paying homage with “Masters of War” and “Mr. Tambourine Man”
(the audience joining in), or the incredible Joni Mitchell – “Both Sides Now,”
and more tales of the 60’s sex, drugs and rock n’ roll. She’s a grand
But what’s put the celebrated Ms. Collins back on the charts is her liaison with
pop baritone Ari Hest, (musician, singer-songwriter) – her first album made
with another artist – the release of “Silver Skies Blue;” the title song, the
first they wrote together. It’s an amazing compilation of songs, their vocal
harmonies blending beautifully; “Strangers Again” a highlight!
As her pianist, Russell Walden, relinquished his seat at the piano, Ms. Collins
easily slipped into his place to sing and play some of her (and our) favorites
– “The Blizzard,” an always thrilling “Send in the Clowns” eventually encoring
with Leonard Cohen’s (who just passed away) “Suzanne.”
She generously thanked everyone at the Carlyle, including staff and acknowledged
her hubby Louis Nelson in the audience.
Judy Collins is in the prime of her career and, for fans, this is an opportunity to
be part of her luminescent presence that crosses many generations.
Cafe Carlyle, 35 East 76 Street at Madison Ave. , 212 744-1600 www.TheCarlyle.com thru November 19
Photos: David Andrako