They’re back! The old open mic’s open for business again, digging music in new digs. After a bout of cabaret homelessness, MetroJam’s merry musicmakers make their nest inside Don’t Tell Mama. Resuming two Tuesdays monthly are ebullient singing hostess Jenna Esposito (pictured) (sounding swell and strong), the trio (the completely swinging/two-thirds singing MetroJam Band) and producer Stan Gilbert (creditable, smooth old-school band singer himself). A flock of their old followers followed them (mostly cabaret and jazz vocalists, songwriters, instrumentalists, occasional comics, a juggler, some wannabes of varying gifts—the gamble of any truly “open” open mic). Jenna’s free home-made cookies sweeten the deal. (No enforced cabaret two-cookie minimum... or maximum. Oh, there is the two-drink minimum, but cover charge is 50% off if you perform.) Generous Jenna makes everyone feel welcome, keeps things casual, moving and balanced. Recent highlights included Mardie Millett’s mmmm-mellow “Moon River,” teen-aged Billy Elliot cast member Ruby Rakos mining golden oldies predating her and most most appreciative listeners, and real-deal entertainer Joi Danielle Price, and the top-drawer band. Their solos swing. Accompanying everyone, supportively, they make even the so-so so much better-sounding. These guys don’t phone it in; they’re showmen and veterans. Bobby Sher is that too-rare interesting drummer/percussionist bringing flair and fun. Ever-cool pianist John DiPinto and bassist/resident wit Ritt Henn present one solo piece per show, titles presented alphabetically, though noncomformist Ritt began with Z and is working his way to A (with hilarious patter). Drop everything and drop in. It’s “open” season again.
MetroJam is at Don't Tell Mama two Tuesdays a month. Check our listings for exact dates.
January 14/February 7, 2012