Alex Mendham and His New Yorkers

Rating
4.7/5

Alex Mendham and His New Yorkers made their New York debut. Straight away glamour and the sound of music from the 1920s and ‘30s filled the room at Chelsea Table and Stage!

Alex Mendham with Guest Artist Allison Young

Mendham, the ultra-debonnaire English bandleader, singer, and musician arrived after his cross-Atlantic voyage on the Queen Mary II. Along with his 11-piece jazz orchestra, flaming red-haired vocalist Allison Young joined them. Young was beautifully dressed in a retro long gown the color of shimmering teal. Mendham was splendidly clothed in white tie and tails with black patent leather shoes. Unquestionably, the band leader brought a series of music from the golden age to an energetic crowd.

London’s Savoy Hotel

Mendham and his orchestra held a residency at London’s Savoy Hotel and played at several iconic venues in the city, including the Ritz Hotel. Given that, it didn’t take long for lovers of big band music from around the globe to catch on to this talented young maestro. Not surprisingly, New Yorkers showed their taste of his flair to entertain.

The Cotton Club

The evening opened with Duke Ellington’s Cotton Club Stomp, and it got better. Next came Abe Lyman’s 1934 hit Pop! Goes Your Heart, originally sung by Dick Powell with guests swaying to the music right away.

A colorful and vibrant landscape celebrating New York's legendary Cotton Club. The scene should feature a glowing sign with the club's name, set against a bustling nighttime city backdrop. The color palette should be bold and rich, with reds, deep blues and purples evoking the glamour and excitement of the jazz age. Include some jazz musicians and dancers in the foreground to add to the lively atmosphere.

New York’s Legendary Cotton Club.

Several patrons dressed in period-style clothing, and we were treated to Mendham’s remarkable and pleasing voice. Georgia on My Mind, initially performed in 1931 by Native-American jazz singer Mildred Bailey, the Queen of Swing, was superb. It already felt like one should look around the room for Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.

Ambassador Hotel

Mendham played several Bing Crosby tunes, like the 1933 hit Cabin in the Pines and Goodnight, Sweetheart. Mendham remarked how Crosby started his career at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles with the song Out of Nowhere. By the same token was his noting how he loved playing in California, where so many artists got a boost to their careers.

Ella Fitzgerald and Billy Holiday performed the 1934 jazz song Stars Fell on Alabama during their careers, and Young’s version was perfect. Similarly, Young’s voice possesses an emotional and sweet timbre. In like fashion, Dust on the Moon, performed by Eddy Duchin and his orchestra in 1934, showcased Mendham playing the maracas with guests dancing the tango. In essence, for those who love the classics, this show was truly remarkable.

Duke Ellington

Giving homage to Duke Ellington, Mendham, and the orchestra played The Mooch, with a wailing clarinet solo and muted trumpet.

The legendary Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club

The legendary Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club

In a stirring rendition of the Academy Award-winning song Over the Rainbow, Alison Young thrilled the audience with her style.

When asked what he thought his voice was like, Mendham said, “A little bit of Dick Powell and Al Jolson.” Undeniably, anyone familiar with those two crooners would agree that after spending the evening with Alex Mendham and His New Yorkers was a fabulous New York debut. We should celebrate that he and his orchestra have gathered so many vintage tunes and shared them with us for our listening enjoyment.

Chelsea Table and Stage presents the New York debut of Alex Mendham and His New Yorkers, with vocalist Allison Young.

CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE opens the doors to hospitality, entertainment, and enjoyment every night, featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, a 10-seat in-theatre bar, lofted VIP mezzanine for private groups, and table seating for the perfect date night. The ever-changing menu and entertainment schedule means guests never have the same night twice. CHELSEA TABLE + STAGE is located at 152 West 26th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Avenue), downstairs inside the Hilton New York Fashion District. Purchase tickets at chelseatableandstage.com @chelseatableandstage.

Readers may also enjoy our reviews of Take Me Back to ManhattanAnn KittridgeBlack String, and Master Your Mindset.

Alex Mendham and His New Yorkers

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