Performance Review: Randy Edelman-An Epic Night @Chelsea In NYC 9/22/23

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An exuberant character and a “lifer” in the music industry, Composer Randy Edelman is a musical warrior….. Song writing nobility, he leaves his audience raptured and breathless. In an intoxicating performance at the chic and trendy new nighttime hot spot Chelsea Table and Stage in New York City on September 22, 2023, Randy completely killed it, Boom! The audience was swinging from the rafters and the sold out space was swollen with  cons and rockers from every species of music inclusive of one of the most prominent music legends on the planet…. 

Clive Davis celebrated Empresario entered the venue with his cool entourage, looking debonair wearing stylish, verdigris attire and then carefully chose his seat, slight right of the piano. A man powerful enough to create his own myth, but not to buy it, he watched and listened as the award winning symphonist  took command of the stage and captured the mesmerized audience from the moment he sat down at the piano and began to play. The crowded room was noticeably touched and silent as Randy tributed Davis with the story of his quintessential song “A Weekend In New England” (as recorded by Barry Manilow). While in the UK Randy received a long distance call from Davis requesting that very song for Manilow, and the rest became musical history forever, while the rocky beaches of New England’s shore road the wave of success.



Randy’s songs often speak of the demise of romance, merged souls, solitude, the intrinsic loneliness of a sophisticated mind and heart. A mind that is capable of the most beautiful and sensitive poetry, yet a heart that grasps the difficulty and understands that it will always be misunderstood. Through his music and stories Randy shared the everchanging direction of the soundscape of his career. While he played there was no sun, there was no moon, no direction, no sense of time ….just fine white musical notes swirling up and around the room like a riveting thunder bolt screaming across the sky. He included many of his covered songs “Isn’t It A Shame”(as recorded by Patti LaBelle, and Hip Hop artist Nelly),  “If Love Is Real” (recorded by Olivia Newton-John), an emotional “You” (as recorded by The Carpenters), as well as Randy’s own charted hits, “Uptown, Uptempo Woman”, and “Pretty Girls” (used in the film The Possession of Anne)….and two hours worth of other impactful lyrics  filled with brilliance and depth….



A musical heterodox at times, an anomaly always…. Randy speaks in all genres known to man and some not yet invented …..he can draft an image with a rhythm or a tempo and set it before the congregation in three dimensional charm, transporting the listener to an achromatic gray American Civil War battlefield, or the dripping trees, rotting vegetation, and  murky olive green waters of a swamp in the deep dark south. The quantum physicist of the film world, Edelman has themed the soundtracks for over a hundred motion pictures and television shows. Tonight his film score medleys included  “My Cousin Vinny”, “Ghostbusters ll”, “While You Were Sleeping”, “The Bruce Lee Story”, “Gettysburg”, “Dragonheart”, “The Mask”, “Kindergarten Cop”, the theme from the hit series “MacGyver”, “Last of the Mohicans” (for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination), and a wild parade of others. The musical effect was immediate. Like liquid mathematics and perfumed smoke, the crowd remained entranced and enamored by the poetry of the intimacy of his musical showcase.

 

It was more than apparent that Randy not only loved, but also treasured the music he had chosen to present. Although enthusiasm is a highly overused word in this case, it is more than appropriate as the audience showed their appreciation for the award-winning composers flawless and elegant efforts by “RISING” to a climatic standing ovation. However Randy lives his life, sings his song for the joy of it…..and the crowd gets him….

Photo Credit: Billy Hess