Stevie Holland: Life Goes On

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Stevie Holland

Life Goes On

(150 Music)

September 28, 2015

Reviewed by John Hoglund for Cabaret Scenes

Stevie-Holland-Life-Goes-On-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Returning to recording after a professional hiatus, jazzy stylist Stevie Holland sings gems from the Great American Songbook on her newly released eclectic album, Life Goes On. The cuts include personal favorites from her repertoire as well as more contemporary and original songs.

The result is an album that goes from deeply melancholic (the title cut) and uplifting (“99 Miles from L.

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A.”). It doesn’t get better than opening with the beloved “Skylark,” given a breezy swing treatment here, with her supple alto vocals setting the mood for what’s to come.

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With some classy arrangements by her long-time personal and professional partner Gary William Friedman, and a terrific band of professionals, this album hits the right chords and is worthy of attention.

Aside from “Skylark,” Holland has some truly special moments that include a sensitive reading of “April Snow,” starting with a terrific piano accompaniment (by the great Randy Ingram), and segueing into a well-paced rhythmic trio in the background. Other highlights are a swinging, well-sung “Tea for Two” and a beautiful “Out of This World” with finely honed phrasing that makes the song more compelling. Holland has a way with ballads that invites listeners to close their eyes and enjoy.

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That quality can’t be bought.

There is no thunder and lightning on this CD. And that’s the point. Unnecessary vocal gymnastics or overwrought nuances with over-produced arrangements aren’t called for. In that regard, Stevie Holland gets high marks for an album that is classy, sassy…and just right.

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John Hoglund

For over 30 years, John Hoglund has been a respected entertainment writer covering cabaret, jazz, theater and recordings. His writings have appeared in numerous outlets including the Bistro Bits column for Back Stage. John moderated seminars and forums for the International Cabaret Conference At Yale. He produced many celebrity fundraisers in NYC including one of the first benefits after 9/11: “HeartSong:The Heroes' Concert” at The Bottom Line featuring 36 major stars. He co-produced “HeartSong2: The Heroes' Concert” for Katrina victims at Symphony Space and “Miracle On 35th Street” with a star-studded lineup. Other fund raising efforts include the first benefits for Broadway Cares and God's Love, We Deliver. John served on the Board of Directors of MAC for 12 years. He is well known for championing new and rising talents.