It was one of those bells that now and then rings. Bobby Short had a bunch of us over to the Kennedy Center last night for an evening with him. It was elegant, it was sublime, but it wasn't too too. It was just too enough.

The world's supreme cabaret singer, though hampered by sound balance problems in the first act and by the cavernous echoes of the Concert Hall, performed the very best songs in the very best manner possible.

And only the very best composers were there: Noel C., Jerome K., Stephen S., and Irving B. and, oh yes, St. George and his brother St. Ira were there as well.

"When in doubt, sing a Gershwin song," Short explained, and so he sang five of them. He also sang everything from a classic "I Can't Get Started With You" to a naughty antique called "On the Amazon."

Bobby Short remembers these songs for us and sometimes we remember them as well as he does.So on "Just One of Those Things," after Short sang "As Columbus announced when he knew he was bounced," the audience sang back, "It was swell Isabel, it was swell."

Bobby Shot sat at the piano in his red velvet dinner jacket like he was driving a Silver Shadow. It was swell. It was impeccable.At a Bobby Short concert Seventh Heaven is something you look down upon and Cloud Nine becomes merely a stop on the way to the stars.

He's perfection, goodness knows.