Whenever Johnny Mathis comes to Buffalo, he packs the house. And with good reason! You will never hear anyone else with a voice that weirdly beautiful. Mathis has perfected it over the decades, giving glorious sheen to such wonderful old songs as “Chances Are,” “The Twelfth of Never” and “Baubles, Bangles and Beads.”
He also seems to enjoy himself, a most excellent thing in a singer. The last time he sang at Kleinhans Music Hall, in 2009, he giggled over “And Her Mother Came Too,” as if he were singing the song for the first time. He savored the delicate chromatics of “Laura” and “Misty,” handling the songs with the care and concentration of a classical singer. He is a generous performer, giving newcomers and longtime fans alike exactly what they want to hear.
It has been 77 years since Mathis was born in Gilmore, Texas. As of last count, his marvelous pipes were holding up superbly. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra welcomes him back to Kleinhans at 8 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $42-$92.
– Mary Kunz Goldman