If you wanted to see a legend and a truly fabulous show, then Maurice Hines Tappin’ Thru Life was the show to attend. Feinstein’s/54 Below was packed as the all female DIVA Jazz Orchestra kicked things into high gear. Then Hines delivered musical and tapping magic.
Hines has been performing Tappin’ Thru Life with The DIVAS since 2013. The show is a celebration of his brother Gregory, their careers and stories of the amazing people they performed with. At 75 Maurice has a lot to impart.
Starting the show off with “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” (Frank Loesser), Hines is a master at interpretation. His rhythmic styling is impressive, as he makes each song his own. Standards like “Come Fly with Me” (Jimmy van Heusen/Sammy Cahn), “Luck Be a Lady” (Loesser), Nat King Cole’s version of “Smile” (Charles Chaplin/Geoffrey Parsons/John Turner) and “L-O-V-E” (Bert Kaempfert/Milt Gabler) turn into new versions of the classical American songbook. With Hines masterful take, these songs become fresh, exciting and superb masterpieces. What is so interesting, is Hines voice is not a perfect voice, but you do not care because he knows how to make you feel the music. His body is like a cat slinking to the underscoring and luring you into his spell.
“Honeysuckle Rose” (Fats Waller and Andy Razaf) and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it Ain’t Got That Swing)” (Duke Ellington/Mitchel Parrish) puts this master in his element.
The DIVA Jazz orchestra, founded and lead by, Sherrie Maricle, exudes the excitement and force of the traditional big band era. They excelled on their own rendition of “Caravan” (Juan Tizol) with pianist Jackie Warren, bassist Amy Shook, alto saxophonist Alexa Tarantino, tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss, baritone saxophonist Lauren Sevian, lead trumpeter Liesl Whitaker, trumpeter Jami Dauber, and trombonist Sara Jacovino.
This was a night of theatre, cabaret and musical excellence.
Feinstein’s/54 Below on June 7 and 8th. Closed.