The crack team of pianist/vocalist Dardanelle and bassist George Duvivier offered lively and often moving interpretations of 20 or so of the late Richard Rodgers' more than 500 melodies yesterday afternoon in the Corcoran's intimate Armand Hammer Auditorium.
Dividing the program between Rodgers' corroborations with lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II, the two immediately displayed their jazz credentials in several opening instrumentals, including a light-as-air "Mountain Greenery" and a sprightly "Dancing on the Ceiling."
Dardanelle's voice is rich and full and her transitions from lyric to instrumental bridge back to lyric, as on "You Are Too Beautiful," show a mature sense of the dramatics of the songs.
Little touches indicated the precise teamwork and the relaxed interplay between the polished singer and the journeyman bassist -- she coming back in at the end of his solo, her opening piano note in perfect unison with his final pluck or his arco complementing her held pedal tone.
Dardanelle's emotive vocal and Duvivier's deep-singing bass on the encore, "My Funny Valentine," concluded the bravura tribute to Rodgers. The sold-out series, directed by Joel Siegel, continues on Feb. 8 with the music of George Gershwin performed by Ronny Whyte and Jack Six.