Cory Jamison: Guess Who I Saw Today: The Music of Murray Grand

| October 31, 2017

Cory Jamison

Guess Who I Saw Today:
The Music of Murray Grand

Don’t Tell Mama, NYC, October 22, 2017

Reviewed by Bart Greenberg for Cabaret Scenes

Cory Jamison

The delicious Cory Jamison returned to New York City to pay tribute to the lesser-known composer/lyricist Murray Grand. Her choice of 13 songs by this skilled songwriter demonstrated the wide range of styles in which he worked, from highly romantic to cynical to bemused: from the charm of “I Always Say Hello (to a Flower)” (“flowers are the sweetest thing I know”) to the tortured “Thursday’s Child”(co-written with Elisse Boyd), referencing the old poem about how life is determined by what say one is born on.  The singer talked about Eartha Kitt having recorded the piece and then using its title for her published autobiography, without seeking the blessing of its writers or properly acknowledging them.  For comedy, there was   the unlikely “tribute” to Alaska, “April in Fairbanks,” where “you’ll suddenly discover a polar bear’s your lover.”

Jamison offered up these treats with an ease and assured style and emphasis on the constantly clever lyrics which she presented with a sensitivity to the shifting moods. She celebrated her maturity with the delightful “Too Old to Die Young,” and offered a quietly intense, low-key version of Grand’s best known song, “Guess Who I Saw Today” (also co-written with Boyd). And, she didn’t shy away from the raunchier aspects of Grand’s oeuvre, with such gems as “What’s a Lady Like Me?” and “Up Yours” (which Steve Ross, who was in the audience, admitted he had never had the nerve to sing).

If there was a flaw in the show, it was the singer’s natural garrulousness. She had obviously done a good deal of research for this show, but her tendency to go off on tangents slowed the program down. Less chat would have helped the songs to flow better.

Throughout the afternoon, she received excellent support from her musical director Tedd Firth. If the show was not “Ev’rything You Want,” it was still a delightful program.

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, New York City, New York City Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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An entertaining evening.