The setting was the recording artist's favorite, like being in a living room surrounded by family and close friends, he said.
Morris Albert performed Saturday night at The Colony Theatre in Burbank. Sitting in the front row were his family, his mother Ruth Salat and stepfather Andrew J. Salat, brother and sister in law Norton and Helena Kaiserman.
Accompanying himself on an acoustic guitar, he played several of his songs, as well as those by people he has admired over the years.
The international recording artist went back and forth from soulful to jazzy selections. At the top of the list was his first hit, "Gonna Love You More," and later, Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay," spicing it up with his own introduction. Other segments featured hits by James Taylor and Carly Simon, and Antonio Carlos Jobim's sultry "The Girl from Ipanema." A surprise was George Harrison's "Something."
For the first time in concert, Albert sang "Father," which he wrote for his own father, who died in 1975. He dedicated it to his mother.
Albert was accompanied by a talented trio — Andy Howe on keyboards, Maria Martinez providing percussions and David Hughes on bass. Howe worked with Debbie Reynolds as her musical director from 1975 to 1979. Hughes is a member of jazz great David Benoit's trio. Martinez has played with El Chicano, Rita Coolidge and Trini Lopez.
As the show moved toward its finale, Albert stepped aside to allow his daughter, Natasha Kaiser, to take the microphone. She did so with a powerful rendition of "God Bless the Children" by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog Jr., which was also recorded by Blood, Sweat and Tears in 1969. Truly, the lovely songstress proved the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
After everyone's favorite, "Feelings," everyone stood for an ovation. Albert recalled how once in front of 10,000-plus fans, he forgot the words, but the crowd started it for him and he finished it. Newspaper reviewers suggested he was going to keep it in the show. He didn't.
Proceeds raised from Saturday's concert will go to the Ayala Foundation USA for its Gearing-up Internet Literacy and Access for Students program to put computer laboratories with Internet access in all 5,500 or so public high schools across the 7,100 islands in the Philippines in the next five years.
Admiring fans attending were Charles McCollister of Simi Valley and Rosa Goldstein of Los Angeles, who are huge theater lovers. She adores A Noise Within while his favorite is the Alex Theatre. But both enjoy the Colony Theatre.
Others attending were Lucille and Max Denuna of Glendale, Vicente Ching of La Crescenta and Efrin Abratique of Los Angeles.