Luba Mason: Mixtura

Luba Mason


The Cutting Room, NYC, September 24, 2016

Reviewed by Melody Breyer-Grell for Cabaret Scenes

Luba-Mason-Cabaret-Scenes-Magazine_212Broadway star, singer and songwriter, Luba Mason comes to the stage offering an embarrassment of riches. With a voice strong enough to scale the universe, she also has the capacity to sing softly and convert her sound into a soprano purr, which she does admirably. Mason calls her approach “Mixtura.

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The set, which consists of originals, standards and pop tunes, also includes a funked-up “All That Jazz,” from one of her Broadway vehicles, Chicago. The proceedings were greatly enhanced by her knock-out band. Or bands, I should say. The iconic trumpeter Randy Brecker, thrilled; and much of the evening’s delight was infused by Felipe Fournier, who employed vibes and percussion. Her violinist, Sara Caswell, played with fearless dexterity, and if that were not enough, Mason brought in an all-female Mariachi band. The singer’s use of these musicians was sublimely effective; she would generally sing a chorus, much like a jazz singer, letting the band stretch out, highlighting each individual, allowing us to groove on to the inevitable, satisfying conclusion.

Her “Calm Before the Storm” (Lou Reed/Rubén Blades) was appropriately hypnotic, and Cole Porter’s iconic “Love for Sale” blazed, with Mason utilizing her multi-octave range. Rarely have I seen performers enjoy themselves, plying their craft with such assured enjoyment, as does Luba Mason.

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Melody Breyer-Grell

A life-long New Yorker, Melody Breyer-Grell was a voracious reader as a little girl, which led towards a life filled with theater, opera and jazz. Following her penning a parody nightclub show chronicling the ups and down of a life in music, she proceeded to get published in several genres, including fiction, essay and memoir. They include The Fairhaven Literary Review, short stories featured in Counting Down the Seconds and SunKissed (both published in the UK by Freya Publications). Melody is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, opining on a broad range of subjects—from peace in the Middle East to American Idol.