Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Blithe Listening

As the year ends, I am finding  "Christine Ebersole Sings Noel Coward" as the one vocal disc I keep on coming back to with great affection. It's so beautiful, it's so elegant, her singing so full of layers that I keep on finding new things I love about it with each spin. Her lilting soprano is expressive, and earthy that it doesn't sound like it's breakable porcelain. Why do I love the album so? Perhaps because Noel Coward's songs have characters of their own, and Ms. Ebersole is such an intelligent singer that she gets to the core of these characters. I was hooked from the first note of "Someday I'll Find You," as I can't remember when the last time I felt such melancholy and hope all in one track.  And then there's such joyful charm in "Chase Me Charlie," and you can see that she is just at home with a comedic performance. And she can essay being in love, as evidenced by her duet with the wonderful Howard McGillin on "A Room With A View." In fact, I cannot think of a track I don't like. The album can be described by that box of chocolate cliche - you never know what kind of wonderful you will get in each song. I love to play the album on shuffle mode, more often than not, each song blends effortlessly with the next in any order. Much credit should be given to Larry Yurman, her pianist and arranger, for making each of these songs sound fresh. But it's Ms. Ebersole who wins us over here again and again...and again.

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