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New Feinstein's club gets off to Rosie start

Date: 2000-12-21
source: Daily News
author: Patricia O'Haire

Her nephew, George Clooney, may be the big macho movie and TV star, but he has a long way to go to match the charm and charisma of his swinging star Aunt Rosemary, who opened Tuesday night at the city's newest nightclub, Feinstein's at the Regency.

She was in great form. At 71, she has been working as a singer for well over half a century and the classic pop and jazz tunes written during that period are her specialty. She mines the gold in them with intelligence, taste and, best of all, humor; her taste in songs and arrangements is impeccable and her range of interests is wide, from Cole Porter to Dave Frishberg, Duke Ellington to James Taylor, Johnny Mercer to Barry Manilow.

Between number, she talks about friends, composers, lyricists, a little background about the song.

Her usual band, led by pianist-arranger John Oddo, is a smooth machine, driving when necessary, laid-back other times.

She also introduces the tenor saxman, Scott Hamilton, to perform with her (on Burke and Van Heusen's "But Beautiful") and the room's director, Michael Feinstein, to step up to the mike with another (the Gershwins' "Isn't It a Pity").

She signs off with a lyric from James Taylor that could very well describe her at this stage: "The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time."

For years, she appeared annually at the sky-high club Rainbow & Stars, but since that closed last year, she's been homeless in Manhattan. Music lovers should be delighted that she's found a room in this city where she can lay down some smooth tracks. She'll be making musical magic there through Oct. 16.

Feinstein's at the Regency, Park Ave. at 61st St. Cover, $60. .