I had heard that singer/ bandleader Terese Genecco was wonderful, but I had yet to have experienced this infectious talent. On Tuesday publicist Penny Landau and performer Gary Negbaur (Metropolitan Room Sunday’s in September) were headed to the Iridium and invited me to join them.
What greeted me was old fashion jazz mixed with today’s arrangements, hints of rock and roll melding with 60’s acid rock, blended with shades of the Tijuana Brass. I had descended into musical heaven. With spiked hair and an appearance reminiscent of Ellen DeGeneres and Lea DeLaria, Ms. Genecco’s fabulous arrangements merged with perfect sounds to create a bygone era come back to life. “Love is just Around the Corner,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” Unchain My Heart” and many more entered a world where classics became exciting and fresh. Ms. Genecco is also backed by some of the best musicians in town. Pianist Barry Levitt, Mark Miller on brass, Nathan Childs, drummer Alison Miller, the incomparable Sean Harkness on guitar and three other equally talented players brought the house to life. My only complaint was Ms. Genecco allows other performers to share the spotlight and she did not perform enough. Joining her were Shaynee Rainbolt (Metropolitan Room Friday’s in September) her partner, who excelled on “In These Shoes,” Peggy Lee interpreter, Veronica Klaus, straight from San Francisco’s Razz Room, was accompanied by Tammy Lynne Hall and “Ryan’s Hope” Delia Ilene Kristen who brought some terrific purring to the stage.
Since it had been awhile since I had visited the Iridium, I decided to try the fare and all I can say is yum, I have finally found the best Key Lime Pie ($9) in New York. Anyone who loves this delectable dish knows it is hard to find and I am here to say, here it is with perfection. I will be back just for this. I also had the Artichoke Terrine ($11), which was fresh with artichokes, avocado, shaved parmesan, lime and olive oil. For those looking for something light, tasty, filling and unique I recommend this chilled refresher. We also tried the Pollo Al Mattone ($22) ½ broiled chicken with spice, broccoli rabe and spinach mashed potatoes, which are out of this world and Spaghetti Polpette ($21) which has mouthwatering veal and chicken meatballs in a San Marzano tomato sauce. The portions are generous, well seasoned and a delight to the palate.
Terese Genecco performs the fourth Tuesday of every month, at the Iridium, 1650 Broadway, at 51st Street; (212) 582-2121