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by Michael P. Gladstone
Coming on the heels of her well-received debut album, The Right Time (Rhombus, 2004), jazz singer Melody Breyer-Grell's Fascinatin' Rhythms: Singing Gershwin is an appreciation of the Gershwin songbook. This is, by itself, a daunting task, since there are many preceding greats who have interpreted these songs many times over. Tackling tunes like Embraceable You," Someone to Watch Over Me" and Nice Work If You Can Get It," the obvious comparison is with the Ella Fitzgerald-Billie Holiday-Sarah Vaughan A-List. Here, ...read more
by Marcia Hillman
Melody Breyer-Grell and the Gershwin songbook make a good combo on this, her second release, ably abetted by Don Braden (sax), Jim Rotondi (trumpet), Gloria Cooper (piano), Dean Johnson (bass), Matt Wilson (drums), John Hart (guitar) and Kahil Kwame Bell (percussion). The vocalist's classical and musical theater training blends well with the richness of George's harmonies and Ira's intelligent lyrics. Breyer-Grell has chosen a large chunk of the Gershwin collection to explore--some which many have done but ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
2008 is shaping up to be a stellar year of stripped-down jazz vocal recitals. Witness Long Beach native Melody Breyer-Grell's collection of Gershwin standards, Fascinatin' Rhythms; Breyer-Grell is supported by the basic jazz piano trio, with the intelligently applied supplementation of solo instruments. Breyer-Grell's voice is front and center in this recording, never obscured by the instrumentation. The singer's approach to this canonical material is reverent, but not so as to make it boring.
Somebody Loves Me and ...read more