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Who is Sylvia?

SylviaI cannot remember the soprano Sylvia McNair ever paying a visit to Buffalo. That is one reason why this Saturday's Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra concert, devoted to the music of Harold Arlen, is something to anticipate.

If you like, listen to the soul McNair puts into Harold Arlen's "The Morning After," accompanied by Andre Previn in jazz pianist mode. What an adult song this is, for the era. "If I didn't have to face the morning after/If I could only but erase the day in store..." McNair sounds so blue, so desolate.

"How could you love me and leave me to get through/The morning after the night with you." I wonder if she will sing this song at Kleinhans Music Hall on Saturday. We can hope!

Joining McNair on this interesting concert is the ball of energy that is pianist Kevin Cole, whom we have heard twice at Artpark -- once last summer, once the summer of 2007.

Here is Kevin Cole in an unusual setting. The piano is really funky, but you can catch his influences, including stride pianists like James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith.

Saturday should be an intriguing evening. For info, call 885-5000.

--Mary Kunz Goldman

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