BWW Review: Scott Dreier Triumphs with THE DORIS DAY PROJECT CD
My association with Scott Dreier dates back to a cabaret for his first album named aptly Scott Dreier. I was exceedingly impressed with his fine voice, boyish charm and affability.Then followed his show Doris and Me, which I reviewed once in Escondido and later in Los Angeles. The show about Doris Day and his love for her went beyond what I would call an ordinary cabaret presentation. He literally blew me away. It is really two shows in one: a biography of Doris's career told through the songs she made famous and then a semi-biography of Dreier, who grew up from a young age loving Doris Day, her songs, and her movies. It is the second show that makes it all work so beautifully, because, as fans of Doris Day, we see and appreciate the effects that her persona has had on all of us. As an individual Scott Dreier is expressing what we all feel, that intense love and admiration for one of the greatest screen legends of all time.
Now, after a long wait, Scott Dreier has recorded those fabulous Doris Day tunes that we all love in his very own inimitable style and warmth. The CD is entitled The Doris Day Project. Doris's love has transcended time and has passed down from her to Scott and, now through the recording, on to us. What a treasure trove of hits that will never die! Tracks include: "Young at Heart", "This Can't Be Love", "It's Magic", "Sentimental Journey", "Secret Love", "Shaking the Blues Away", of course "Que Sera, Sera" from Alfred Hitchcock's The Man Who Knew Too Much, and "My Buddy", among many other gigantic hits.
It is hard not to fall in love with Dreier's wonderfully original interpretations of all of the tunes. The fast patter and upbeat pace to "I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)" is sheer delight. He makes Ira and George Gershwin's "Do Do Do" extra special fun to listen to and ... the wonderful arrangement of "Secret Love" has never before been rendered with such heartfelt joy by a male singer. His whispery prayer-like intonation and phrasing suit the material to perfection. He made me teary eyed with his earnest, sensitive approach to "My Buddy" coupled with "The Way You Look Tonight". The increased tenderness with "Que Sera, Sera" is deliciously precious, and what sincerity and fervor with "It's Magic"! Dreier's delivery and special arrangements will take your breath away.
Just a personal note about "Little Girl Blue" from Jumbo. Jumbo was Doris Day's last musical film. I saw it in 1962 with my dad. I was a young teen, and my father was indeed a fan of the big band era that blossomed Day's singing style. In the film Doris is losing her family circus run by her father Jimmy Durante. His long time girlfriend, clown Martha Raye is also on board, one of my all time favorite comediennes. Stephen Boyd is her conflicting romantic interest in the plot. With "Little Girl Blue" she comes into a big empty circus tent, all alone, and starts to sing about loss and love. I sat in the darkened movie theatre and cried my eyes out when Day sang this truly rich Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart ballad. I don't know if I understood its message then. Now I do. It's supposed to be a woman's song, understood more by women than men. Well, let me tell you, it affected a teenage boy - me - or at least the female part of me - so very powerfully. so very deeply that I didn't stop thinking about it for days. Day's intense delivery of her heartfelt emotions stayed with me for years. And...I have been ... a number one fan of Doris Day the singer ever since. She helped me come to terms with my deep personal feelings about life and love. And Scott Dreier's delivery of "Little Girl Blue"? It is every bit as affecting, because he allows it to touch his heart, and he passes that message of sorrow, with the tiniest hint of optimism - on to us with great vulnerability, as rich and beautifully as Rodgers and Hart intended.
On the less delicate and more bouncy side of The Doris Day Project, there's a glorious duet of "Everybody Loves a Lover" with spectacular talent Jane Monheit, also performed with a uniquely contemporary arrangement. This is one of those 'spread the joy', 'spread the happiness' Doris Day tunes that perks you up and puts you in a good mood, regardless of how you were feeling before you heard it. In fact, Scott Dreier's whole album of Doris Day does just that. Its one.of.a.kind interpretive freshness makes you hang on every word, every syllable. Dreier does here what Doris Day taught him so well...to love every single moment of life, to exult in it...and to make you do the same.
To pre-order the album, go to: