Album Review: Marya Zimmet's Debut Album ON THE ROAD TO LOVE Is Such Sweet Surprise

Cabaret artists Marya Zimmet is now a recording artist.

By: Aug. 14, 2022
Album Review: Marya Zimmet's Debut Album ON THE ROAD TO LOVE Is Such Sweet Surprise
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It starts slow, like the sunrise. It eases its way into the consciousness, like the dawning awareness that something delicious has entered the sense of smell, that something beautiful has slipped into view, that something surprisingly gorgeous has permeated the ears. Eventually, the experience is in full bloom and you realize you are smiling, and you are feeling good, without really knowing why. Marya Zimmet's album ON THE ROAD TO LOVE has taken hold.

Ms. Zimmet's 2021 album is her first and the cd listening public should be grateful that the jazz singer finally made it into the studio - furthermore, those same people should be hopeful that there will be a second album on its way. In the liner notes on the album (yes, there is a physical cd, and the packaging is admirably artistic), Marya explains the story and reasoning behind the creation of On The Road To Love, while showcasing the lovely photography of Sue Barr, but as elegant and enjoyable as the packaging and writing are, the meat of the project is the eleven sensational, sophisticated, and sentient performances that make up the record, one that is destined for repeat listenings, thanks to Zimmet's unpretentious approach to storytelling and the presence on the project of Tedd Firth, who Zimmet credits as director/arranger/orchestrator.

On The Road to Love is deceptive in that it plays like easy listening, thanks to Marya Zimmet's sweetly pretty and unembellished voice and an interesting but undemanding song list, and then, out of nowhere, she and Firth insinuate into the proceedings exciting and intriguing ribbons of jazz, through treatments that keep the album easy to listen to. This is accessible and emotional musical storytelling with technical artistry woven throughout in a manner that neither intimidates nor distracts. The focus, from the onset, is clearly on providing Marya with a platform from which to tell these stories, and times come in the imagination where one can actually visualize Zimmet on a stage, performing the songs live, such is the power of the yin and the yang that is technique and artistry, as captured here.

For her musical storybook Marya Zimmet has chosen a wonderfully eclectic (if slightly bizarre) collection of songs that range from Cole Porter to Cat Stevens, from Arlen's Oz to Elton's Brick Road, from Mr. Bernstein to Ms. Lennox, and never, at any time, does anything stand out as not belonging: everything on the album is absolutely authentic and completely in place. Like an actress planning her story arc, Zimmet opens and closes with the words of Mr. Sondheim, using enviable interpretive skills to not only reach the mind with the poetry of the stanzas but to touch the heart with the perceptible rise and fall of energy inside of the notes being sung. Observe the light and jaunty joy of "Maybe I'm Amazed" and then contrast it with the reserved and resigned "Anyone Can Whistle" and it becomes clear that Zimmet has worked with Firth and her entire creative team to create moods, color, and light. If it is at all possible to be simultaneously laid back and assertive, Ms. Zimmet has captured it in her opening number from West Side Story, and never before has L. Frank Baum's Scarecrow come across so straightforward and sensual but there is no denying Zimmet's unique outlook on the Arlen/Harburg movie musical classic presented here. The truth, though, is that Marya Zimmet hears and considers things differently than other musical storytellers, and this music lover and reviewer has spent happy stretches of time wondering from whence cometh these brilliant new spins on pop radio classics like "Calling You" and "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" - do these treatments come to Zimmet's mind in a dream, in the car, or in the cool gray of the dawn? Or maybe these new visions and versions are the results of scrupulous planning between Zimmet and Firth and additionally credited arrangers John DiMartino, Don Rebic, and Frank Ponzio. Whatever the origin of these fresh and fascinating (not to mention satisfying) presentations of famous songs that turn them into new experiences, Zimmet should hold fast to it, nurture it, and use it to give birth to more albums like On The Road To Love because, as debut albums go, this is an impressive creation that every person declaring a love for good music will enjoy. Indeed, it is more than impressive: it is surprising, and that doesn't happen every day of the week. Home run for Marya Zimmet.

Marya Zimmet ON THE ROAD TO LOVE is a 2021 release on the Marya Zimmet label. It is available on YouTube, Apple Music, Deezer, iHeart, Pandora and Spotify. Physical CDs can be bought on the Marya Zimmet website HERE.