Sunday night at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato, as I sipped a Manhattan at the bar, the gorgeous sounds of the Betty Bryant Quartet floated through the room. It was a good turnout, and Betty had them in the palm of her hand. The sound at Vibrato has always been good, but since Herb’s touring bassist Hussain Jiffrey took over the reigns, it is turning into a listening room with an upgrade to the PA and savvy programming from Hussain. The dinner crowd was buzzy, as they always are, but when Betty launched into “Try A Little Tenderness,” the room got silent as she drew them in. It was perfection, like a Manhattan made with a dash of orange bitters and shaken with authority so there is a bit of foam at the top….frothy and sweet with a bite and a kick, like Cool Miss B herself. (Hat tip to Anastasia Mann, who has educated us on the perfect way to make a Manhattan.)
Betty Bryant performed two sublime sets with Richard Simon on bass, Donald Dean on drums, and Robert Kyle on reeds.