2005_03_bobbyshort.jpgBobby Short, the irrepressible entertainer who sang and played the standards at the Cafe Carlyle, died at age 80 yesterday from leukemia. While Gothamist never got to see him perform in person, we always equated him with a beautiful, serene and, yes, very Woody Allen version of New York where people would just sit and listen to wonderful renditions of the old standards. The NY Times' Stephen Holden wrote in an appreciation:

At the keyboard, Mr. Short refined his own personal brand of stride piano. Vigorous and sophisticated but devoid of fuss and frills, it was as distinctive as his voice, to which it was inextricably wedded. Over the years, his sound evolved from that of a caroling choirboy into a huskier baritone whose timbre varied from fogbound to clear, depending on the night and sometimes on the moment. As his voice acquired deeper shades and rougher textures, he made adroit, expressive use of each new facet.

And in Holden's audio slide show, he said that Short was the "quintessential and greatest American cabaret singer," and that he "was New York."

The Cafe Carlyle went dark last night in honor of Short. Another appreciation of Short from NPR. And Short's two books, Bobby Short, The Life and Times of a Saloon Singer and Black and White Baby, and some of his CDs - Celebrating 30 Years at Cafe Carlyle, Bobby Short Loves Cole Porter, Bobby Short Celebrates Rodgers & Hart and the Songs of Bobby Short.