Barbra Streisand at the Village Vanguard

Only 125 seats, but for five tunes, you can have a front-row perch here. Of course there are no bad seats. I’ve been to the Vanguard four times in 25 years, to hear Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis, Bill Charlap and Eric Reed. Once after I hadn’t been there for a long time, I fretted unduly about getting a good seat, fretted again that the ones we were stuck with were awful, and then realized I was sitting about 16 feet from the pianist with an unobstructed view. It really is an extraordinary room, and one of the things I like best about these Barbra Streisand clips is that it still sounds like the Vanguard. She still sounds like Streisand, which means she’s an excellent singer, in no way a jazz singer, incapable of understatement, clearly everything the crowd came to hear.

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