There were qualities of warmth, gentleness, and amiability in Gabriel's singing at the Metropolitan Room. He reminded me sometimes of Fred Astaire. Critic Steve Schwartz once described Astaire's singing as "deceptively casual, never oversold, and at home with the American vernacular." Those virtues could also be applied to Gabriel.

Perhaps, the best turn of the evening was "El Dorado," the theme song Gabriel wrote with Nelson Riddle for the 1966 film of the same name (Gabriel also acted in the film, with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum). "El Dorado" is an anthemic number, in an "Impossible Dream" mode, and Gabriel sang it quite rousingly.

John Gabriel loves songs, adores songwriters and loves to sing and that love shined brightly at the Gardenia. He kept it simple: brief stories about the songs and the songwriters. There were some stories that you have heard before and some that you haven’t, but all contributed to a gracefully flowing evening. Cy Coleman’s “The Best Is Yet to Come” appropriately started things off and the held note on the final "mine" at the end of the tune showed the pipes were in fine shape.
~ Les Traub, Cabaret Scenes ~

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