Wednesday, August 13, 2008
When: Thursday, August 13, 2008 • Where: Dakota • Who: Arne Fogel, voice; Tanner Taylor, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; Nathan Norman, drums; guests Debbie Duncan and Nancy Harms
Seeing and hearing Arne Fogel perform is always a pleasure. Tonight’s house is small—it’s one of the too-few lovely summer evenings we enjoy in Minnesota and a lot of people are outdoors—but he sings like it’s SRO. He’s a pro.
Jerome Kern’s “All the Things You Are.” Julie Styne’s “Just in Time” from the Broadway show Bells Are Ringing. (I know this because Arne always tells us something about the songs he sings, and for that I would like to give him a humanitarian award.) “Here’s to the Losers.” (A song I later learn has a Star Trek: Deep Space 9 connection.)
The trio is as tight and right as you’ll ever find. Tanner’s swinging piano leads the way with big fat chords, glittery runs and sly syncopations. Arne is full-throated and fine.
Debbie Duncan is in the house; Arne invites her up to sing. She takes a moment to say how much she enjoys singers who give you background on their songs. Then she sings a tender, breathy, slow and wide-open version of “But Beautiful.” Gorgeous.
Arne returns with another song by the same writers, Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke: “It Could Happen to You.” It starts as voice and walking bass, ends with piano and drums. “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You,” “I Only Have Eyes for You.”
The final sets (we arrived in time for the second and stayed through the fourth) start with “You and the Night and the Music.” Then an upbeat “When I Take My Sugar to Tea.” “The Tender Trap.” “The Wee Small Hours of the Morning” (a song that always fills me with a deep longing for home, even if I am at home). "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," a song Arne tells us, “my mother taught me when I was hurt by my high school sweetheart.” Then “The Song Is You.”
Arne calls singer Nancy Harms to the stage and she gives us a strong, swinging “Pennies from Heaven.” Arne ends with “What Is This Thing Called Love” and his emotional, pleasing closer, “Angel Eyes.”
Satisfying set list. Warm and generous performances from all.
Hear Nancy Harms sing at her MySpace page.
See and hear Arne Fogel with Tanner Taylor at Baby Blue Arts.
Photos by John Whiting.