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JAZZ REVIEWS : Ighner Takes the Slow Lane

October 04, 1990|LEONARD FEATHER

Benard Ighner, one of the most misspelled names on the vocal scene, is also one of the most misguided singers ever to waste a splendid talent. The evidence was clear Tuesday at the Vine St. Bar & Grill.

Opening with the Miles Davis waltz "All Blues"--hardly a blockbuster, but a fair-enough vehicle for his deep, resonant baritone--he slowed things further with "The Look of Love," using a somewhat stiff trio backing, then hit pop bottom with "People." How can a composer capable of writing "Everything Must Change" waste himself on these banal lyrics at this dreary tempo?

After his own "Little Dreamer," which at least had a beat of sorts, he slowed it down yet again for an almost soporific "Dindi," then accompanied himself at the piano for "Everything Must Change."

Ighner then brought on his sister Sandra, a most attractive woman with a warm, appealing voice, but did she change the tempo, or offer one of her brother's songs? Au contraire-- she offered those brand-new items "My Funny Valentine" and, on her own, "Lover Man"--at the same largo tempo.

Not until 55 minutes into the show, as his closer, did Ighner offer the kind of song he should have been using occasionally all along: he woke us all up with "Stormy Monday," which had a good feel. The trio swung; the room came alive.

Ighner is one of those people who need people--to advise him on how to put together an act.

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