It must be time to take down the Christmas tree ... last evening's Valentines concert made me fall "So In Love" with pianist extraordinaire Kevin Cole and conductor George Stelluto. Not pictured are our brilliant orchestrators, Brian Eads and David Snyder. Sound designer Palmer Jankens worked his magic too. I am one LUCKY girl!!
DECEMBER!!! For this singer, it IS the most wonderful time of the year! SO MUCH BEAUTIFUL MUSIC, thanks to John DeMain, Welz Kauffman, Josephine Lee, Brian Eads and Eric Stark! But especially BRIAN EADS, who creates utter perfection. 10 concerts in 3 states over 3 weekends = Heaven!
From DOWNBEAT Magazine !!!!! Yep, I'm excited.
Album Review: Sylvia McNair’s Subject To Change!
Subject To Change!
★ ★ ★ ★
When Sylvia McNair was a classical violinist and opera singer, she won two Grammys. She was an international star, but harbored a secret desire to be a pop singer. Eventually, she quit the world of opera for the stages of America’s cabarets. Subject To Change! is her third album of standards from the Great American Songbook, and it’s a subtle stunner.
McNair belts out long, high, operatic notes on tunes like “Everybody Says Don’t,” “Tonight” from West Side Story and “Summertime,” but, for the most part, she delivers the lyrics with understated poise. Much of the album was cut live at the Aspen Music Festival, where she was joined by the talented trio of pianist Ted Taylor, bassist Jeremy Allen and drummer Steve Houghton, who add an extra dimension to the songs with their clever arrangements.
Taylor inserts a few quotes from the Gershwin canon into his introduction to “Summertime” before McNair gives the song a passionate delivery using her middle register to intensify the poignant lyric. Elsewhere, she brings jazzy, triple-time vocals to portions of “Everybody Says Don’t” and “Orange Colored Sky” that reference the vocal gymnastics of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.
“One Hundred Easy Ways (To Lose A Man),” from Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town, gets a good-humored reading, although the sexist premise—that a woman who knows as much about cars and baseball as her date will never find love—sounds a bit dated.
Her humor works better on the tongue twisting “The Boy From …,” a parody of “The Girl From Ipanema” written by Steven Sondheim and given a relaxed bossa nova treatment by Taylor, Allen and Houghton.
McNair shows off her fiddling on a couple of country tunes—“Orange Blossom Special” and Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.” At the end of the former, she says that no matter how much she practices, her playing never gets any better—but she’s being overly modest. McNair’s fretwork is impressive, as good as any current bluegrass fiddler you can mention.
Subject To Change!: Everybody Says Don’t; The More I See You; Sylvia’s Dilemma; Orange Colored Sky; This Time The Dream’s On Me; Love Is In The Air/Loving You; The Boy From; I Cannot Hear The City; Orange Blossom Special; The Devil Went Down To Georgia; Summertime; One Hundred Easy Ways; It’s Good To Have You Near Again; West Side Story Medley; With A Song In My Heart. (64:49)
Personnel: Sylvia McNair, vocals, fiddle; Ted Taylor, piano; Jeremy Allen, acoustic bass; Steve Houghton, drums.
Vocalist Sylvia McNair was an international star, but harbored a secret desire to be a pop singer.
'Sylvia & Friends Sing For Shalom'. These WONDERFUL artists gave their talents and their hearts to our concert last Sunday which raised over $20,000 for Bloomington's Shalom Community Center. We sang, we danced, we laughed, we shared, we loved being part of such a great mission. #loveinaction
Only three ARTISTS were chosen from Bloomington to advance the Bicentennial Torch on its 3,200-mile journey through the state: Angelo Pizzo (filmmaker extraordinaire), George Pinney (stage director, choreographer extraordinaire) and me. To say it was an HONOR is the understatement of the decade!
#1 this week in Oncology, according to Amazon. I was one of the 25 contributors. My cancer story is now out there for the world to read and if even one person finds hope or help, I am satisfied.
For a second time this summer, I got to follow DOLLY PARTON on a summer concert series!!! She was at the PNC Bank Arts Center on June 26 (I sang there yesterday) and she was at Ravinia on August 7 (I sang there August 17). LOVE me some DOLLY !!!!
'You're The Top!' with the Chicago Symphony and these amazing artists: Ryan VanDenBoom, Klea Blackhurst and Kevin Cole. Also pictured are conductor David Alan Miller, arranger / orchestrators David Snyder and Brian Eads, sound designer Palmer Jankens and lighting designer Gary Echelmeyer. It was a GREAT evening at Ravinia and all of us are feeling blessed and happy to have celebrated Cole Porter's 125th birthday with each other! #BestLifePossible
NEOS Dance Theatre! 'Ballet @ the Brickyard'. Saturday, July 30, in Mansfield, Ohio. These extraordinary artists, Brooke and Bobby Wesner, will dance a duet while I sing Cole Porter's "So In Love" ~~ and I AM so in love with NEOS.