Someday My Prince Will Come
January 10, 2017
Reviewed by Alix Cohen for Cabaret Scenes
Someday My Prince Will Come is a selection of Disney songs interpreted through mellow jazz, grownup attitude eschewing the winsome. Some fully sound like genre standards. As with much jazz, several are stylistically in opposition to lyrical meaning. Instrumentals are expanded to such a degree that vocals appear to bookend rather than feature. “These,” as the detective from Dragnet would say, “are the facts.”
Musicianship is top tier. I think I’m in love with Gregoire Maret’s expressive harmonica. Don Braden’s sax adds a ’40s feel, his flute emerges with an amiable wink. MD/pianist Fred Hersch has a deft, decisive touch without becoming heavy-handed. Completing the band are Matt Wilson (drums) and Steve LaSpina (bass).
“For Now, for Always” (Robert B. & Richard M. Sherman) emerges warm, with rounded lyrical edges. It’s as if we’re taking a solitary walk, surprised to be happy. Braden’s sax is bright, tickled. “If I Never Knew You” (Stephen Schwartz/Alan Menken) arrives plaintive, lilting. We can practically see Cole’s eyebrows rise with concern when she imagines possible loss. Maret’s harmonica is like a tangible companion. A long vocal note towards the end virtually circles the room. The singer’s ability to connect phrases, even without words, enhances mood.
The enchanting lullaby “La La Lu” (Sonny Burke/Peggy Lee) and, my favorite on the CD, “So This Is Love” (Mack David/Al Hoffman/Jerry Livingston), float. In the first we smile at Braden’s on-the-wing flute and breathy softness in the vocal. During the second, we’re aware Hersch is embracing his piano and again beguiled by Maret’s harmonica. Cole seems moonstruck with “…I search every star in the sky.” Her humming has the delightful sweetness of unexpected chocolate sauce.
“Someday My Prince Will Come” (Larry Morey/Frank Churchill) and, according to the Library of Congress, one of our 100 all-time favorite songs, is the one to which many woman remember growing up. It’s aptly dreamy. “When the prince of my dreams comes to me…” does an octave loop-de-loop before fading. The iconic “When You Wish Upon a Star” is sung with grownup grace and maturity, making it completely other than that which we remember, but successful in its own right.