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WHEN the SUN COMES OUT

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Album Review

Karen Mason is a veteran of the New York cabaret scene as well as the musical stage, appearing in such vehicles as Sunset Boulevard and Play Me a Country Song. The play list is a combination of staples combined with more contemporary material. Irrespective of musical lineage, all the songs have a tale to tell fitting for telling by a cabaret performer. A bevy of arrangers and orchestrators have shaped the music so as to give it a fresh look as well as attuning it to the vocal strengths of Mason, which are considerable. With a powerful voice that she skillfully uses to express the emotions of the lyrics she sings, she easily moves from the intense to the tender, sometimes in the same song, as on "We Never Ran out of Love (We Just Ran out of Time)." "I Wanna Be Around" is given a whole new look, starting off almost conversational, then building up to full crescendo, reaching almost operatic, aria heights, coming to a coda. Johnny Mercer would have approved. Matters lighten up with Mason's cover of Petula Clark's big hit, "Downtown," which is done with a jazzy beat behind Mason's high-stepping delivery. Mason also uses her slight vibrato as a punctuation mark to emphasize dramatic points in her interpretations, such as on "How Long Has This Been Going On." Another factor making this album attractive is the use of real musicians rather than electronically created instrumentation, which is regrettably becoming the vogue with Mason's contemporaries. While the main support comes from pianists Christopher Denny and Dick Gallagher, the horn players get some licks on the happily raucous medley of "I Promise You a Happy Ending"/"Hey There, Good Times." This album is another winner for cabaret fans.

WHEN the SUN COMES OUT, Karen Mason
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