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Husky, rich and sultry

by Sid Adilman, The Telegram

It’s not an entirely new, but it is a breathlessly sexy and casually elegant Malka who opened last night for two weeks in the Royal York Imperial Room.

This is her Toronto supper club debut.

Malka is not to be ignored.

She is a gorgeous woman with Oriental features, high cheek bones, facial skin tightly pressed against the bone framed by long flowing jet-black hair.

Her speaking voice is thickly accented. Her singing voice is husky rich and sultry.

With Malka even the trimmings are to be noticed.

In Yorkville, she was stunning wearing a dirndl and sandals, her hair tightly bunned. At the Royal York, she is equally eye riveting in a black crepe cocktail dress with a black bodice and a jewel halter effect. Her hair is loose, flowing below the shoulders.

In Yorkville with the guitar as accompaniment, she joyously incanted melodies of numerous cultures, Israel, Spain, Russia, Greece and Yugoslavia, to name a few.

In the Imperial Room, she sings chiefly in English, from Broadway (If I Had A Rich Man), from off-broadway (Try to Remember), from movies (A Man And A Woman, in both French and English) and from the pop charts (You Just Keep Me Hanging On.)

Still retained is the Yorkville Malka who lights up over a Hassidic number Cheery, Berry Bim, a Russian comedy song In the Desert, and a modern Israeli song, Jerusalem, done in Hebrew.

And still for the latter half of her 45-minute performance (twice nightly) is the guitar accompaniment by Kevin Knelman, added to the eight-piece Wally Wicken Orchestra.

Musical conductor and at the piano is Coleridge Taylor Perkinson, temporarily borrowed from his regular employer Barbara McNair, who assembled the supper club act for Malka.

Malka herself is a delight to Try To Remember, If I Had A Rich Man, an Hassidic medley and A Man And A Woman. Alternately, she is an interpreter, a gold digger, a traditionalist and a woman burning with love.


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