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Album Review

West Coast cabaret singer Barbara Brussell could have played safe for her first album by selecting a play list from the Great American Song Book and from well-known shows from the Great White Way. Instead, she displays a bit of the daring by including a good number of lesser-known material. But their lack of familiarity does not make them any less intriguing or entertaining, at least the way this fine singer presents them. Among the songs that some may have a hard time recognizing is the wistful "Mira" from Carnival along with the intense yearning and regrets of the title tune, "Patterns," from Baby. Even some songs from hit Broadway shows are not the ones usually remembered from those productions. "Mister Snow" is not generally the first piece of music that comes to mind from the big hit Carousel. But with the rousing attention Brussell gives it, this tune may be seen in a different light. A certain indicator that the lesser-performed material deserves the vocal exposure given it by Brussell is that it in no way suffers by comparison with more heady stuff on the program. The poignant "This Nearly Was Mine," one of the biggies from South Pacific, is coupled in a medley with a charming "Once Upon a Time," resulting in one of the premier performances on the CD. Brussell has just the right vocal equipment for this material. She has a strong voice but keeps full command over it. But more important, it is filled with an expressive ability that catches the hard-to-find nuances of the melodies she takes on. She goes from sad to happy, from lost to sophisticated, from reserved to daring, and from sassy to coy with an effort that's barely noticeable. Patterns is an excellent first outing. Recommended.

Customer Reviews


Wonderful voice, absolutely stunning interpretation! I love the songs - all of them.

Patterns, Barbara Brussell
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Customer Ratings