Phil Moore, the vocal coach whose classes have turned hundreds of nervous amateurs into confident professionals, went public Wednesday evening, presenting 15 of his students at the Alleycat Bistro in Culver City.
The long evening left no doubt that Moore doesn't try to cast all his charges into one mold. Some leaned toward contemporary pop, others to jazz with an occasional touch of soul. Most of the performers displayed good stage presence, though some were inclined to talk too much.
E. J. Sayles, a soulful young woman from Texas, was compelling in an old Savoy Ballroom song. Exetta Murphy showed promise, as did the sonorous, deep-throated Rose Mallet.
Several Moore protegees have reached the point where they clearly feel the meaning of the lyrics. This was true of the 19-year-old Laura Jones. Patti Van Santen showed a Stevie Nicks personality in "Lost Wages," in sharp contrast to Kathy Sanders, whose "Handy Man" harked back to the early Ethel Waters.
The overall impression left no doubt that Moore's guidance is valuable and that he's dealing with performers who could be stars of the future.