By John Curley
Backed by an excellent three-piece band, the New York City-based singer Robin Aleman performed songs from both of her albums as well as other classic tunes at her terrific show on Saturday, January 15th at Miles’ Café on East 52nd Street in Manhattan. Kicking off the first of her two sets with a spirited version of Irving Berlin’s “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” Aleman and her band immediately impressed the audience. Aleman was backed by David Epstein on piano, Bob Sabin on bass, and Brian Adler on drums. The members of the band showed their considerable talents during the instrumental breaks that were featured in many of the songs. Aleman did most of the arrangements and co-arranged several of the songs with Epstein.
The show had an enjoyable, loose, easy-going feel to it. Aleman is an engaging performer with a very pleasant stage manner. She works very well with the band. They have been performing together for a while, and it shows.
Aleman also deserves some praise for being fully immersed in the performance of the songs. An attractive brunette, Aleman’s got a very expressive face and uses it well to convey the emotions—ranging from joy to melancholy—in the songs.
The performance consisted of a 50-minute first set and a second set of 35 minutes. There was an intermission of about 20 minutes between the sets. Among the songs that Aleman performed were Rodgers and Hart’s “My Romance,” Miles Davis’ “Four,” Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence,” and Duke Ellington’s “Do Nothin’ ‘Till You Hear From Me.”
Aleman’s second album, In Your Eyes, was released in September of last year and is available from Amazon.com. Her 2005 debut album, which is titled Tonight, can be purchased on iTunes. She performs in the New York City area, and her live dates can be found in the Shows section of her Web site.
The set list for the performance (with the songs’ composers listed) was as follows:
Steppin’ Out With My Baby – Irving Berlin
Foi A Noite (It Was Night) – Antonio Carlos Jobim and Newton F. Mondonca; Gene Lees, English Lyric
Waltz For Debby – Bill Evans
When I Look In Your Eyes – Leslie Bricusse
My Romance – Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
Four – Miles Davis; Roger Hendricks, lyric
I Get Along Without You Very Well – Hoagy Carmichael
I Fall In Love Too Easily – Jules Styne/Sammy Cahn
The Next Time It Happens – Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
I’m Beginning To See The Light – Don George, Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington, and Harry James
All Through The Night – Cole Porter/Johnny Mercer and Arthur Schwartz
All Or Nothing At All – Arthur Altman, Jack Lawrence (lyric)
Crystal Silence – Chick Corea and Neville Potter
Let’s Fall In Love – Harold Arlen, Ted Koehl (lyric)
Something In Your Smile – Leslie Bricusse
The Way You Look Tonight – Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields (lyric)
Do Nothin’ ‘Till You Hear From Me – Duke Ellington, Bob Russell (lyric)
For additional information about Miles’ Café in New York City, go to: