Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Melissa Morgan - retro romantic at Scullers

In her Tuesday night debut at Scullers jazz club in Boston, singer Melissa Morgan proved that she's an ambassador for romance. Her voice is strong, confident and polished, reflecting a maturity that extends far beyond her chronological years.
Her material was drawn in part from her Telarc debut CD, Until I Met You (released two years ago) and reflected the many facets of love and romance - as penned by the great songwriters of the 1950s and '60s principally, but stretching a decade in either direction.

The selection and the delivery were impeccable. The baker's dozen songs included "Our Love is Here to Stay," "A Sleeping Bee," "The Very Thought of You," "The Lamp is Low," "Dancing Cheek to Cheek," a Brazilian take on "No More Blues," as well as "Save Your Love for Me" and "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby?"

The coolest moment of the evening? Morgan mentioned that she had begun a telephone and email friendship with bassist and composer Richard Evans, whose tune "He Loves Me I Think" is on her debut recording. She told the crowd they'd never met in person but she knew he was there that night. It turned out the Berklee College of Music professor was sitting at a front table an arm's length away from Morgan. They hugged, he waved, and - with a lump in her throat - she nailed the tune Evans wrote for Dinah Washington.

Morgan is working on her second CD. I can't wait to hear it.

I've been frequenting Scullers for 25 years and still consider it the finest club in Boston, and one of the finest environments in the land for singers. I'll miss it dearly as I continue to prepare for a move to Florida later this month. With some scouting around, I hope to find other venue treasures.

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