Sunday, May 17, 2015
Marcus Simeone's Alone with Tracy Stark
Mr Simeone's tenor voice is refreshingly appealing, starting with Ms Stark's lovely arrangement of Rogers and Hart's "Where or When" that introduces the album, Alone. (It is later briefly reprised.) Other classics like Rogers & Hammerstein's "I Have Dreamed" are also covered outstandingly, the latter a lovely duet with Ms Stark.
More contemporary material is scattered throughout, lending a beautiful balance to this effort. "If You're Right" is an instant classic. Janis Ian's lighthearted and pithy "Married in London" has a very "out" message about equality, preceding Ms Ian's touching "When Angels Cry."
Billie Hoiday's "Strange Fruit" is covered in an unfortunately still-relevant political flourish. Melissa Manchester's "Better Days" shines.
"The Twelfth of Never" and "Misty" wrap up this fine album. The Johnny Mathis influence on Simeone's style is unmistakeable.
New Yorkers: Simeone will appear at the Metropolitan Room with Ms Stark for four dates starting in September.