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Album Review: What Do You Get For The Person Who Has Everything? Celia Berk's New Album NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING, Of Course.

Album Review: What Do You Get For The Person Who Has Everything? Celia Berk's New Album NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING, Of Course.

Sharing Everything She Has…

Album Review: What Do You Get For The Person Who Has Everything? Celia Berk's New Album NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING, Of Course.

Heigh Ho, dear lovely rainbow tribe, Bobby Patrick, your rainbow reviewer is back in CD-Land to offer another broken-down breakdown of a new music release. So, strap in and get ready, as Bobby goes on the record ABOUT the record.

Well, dear readers, Celia Berk's latest album NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING just landed on Bobby's metaphysical desk - the laptop here on our lap in our bed - and we must say this album offered up some deliciously sultry treats and introduced us to a performer that has moved right to the top of our best-of lists. If you are a cabaret crawler, like Bobby certainly is, then this album is for you, and all of us. "Why is that Bobby?" we hear you ask - Because, my dearlings, this album, more than any we have heard in a long time, sounds (and most importantly) feels like we're sitting down in a club, hearing a live performer doing her cabaret set. Each song in this set is oh-so-carefully chosen, arranged, and expertly performed that those who haven't seen Celia live can, ohhh who knows... mmmmaybe sit in the comfort of their own little bed with... oh we don't know... maybe their laptop and a bottle of merlot and, by the end of the album, feel as though they've had a lovely night out on the town. Music Director/Arranger supreme, Tedd Firth, has worked with his singer to bring out each note and nuance of the songs, setting the perfect mood with his keyboards in a nightclub-style trio with Jay Leonhart, a man the late, great Nancy LaMott called "The BEST bass player in the free world," and Matt Munisteri's magical guitar. Firth also jobbed in two other fine players to fill out some sound on selected cuts, adding Rex Benincasa's percussion on tracks 2, 4, 8, & 12, with bassist David Finck joining the lady on track 9 - RIGHT AS THE RAIN. This particular number, with music by Harold Arlen & Lyric by E.Y. "YIP" Harburg, was a real standout among the standouts: this love song from the musical BLOOMER GIRL (as arranged by Firth) was given some real jazz vibes when Finck, as Berk's ONLY accompaniment, takes a solo lick that is just oh-so-cool.

Opening the album with HOW ARE YA' FIXED FOR LOVE? by Van Heusen & Cahn, what one hears is Celia's deep, resonant voice that is really beautifully present on her mic. Subtle, smooth, soft but powerful, Celia always sounds like she is in your ear, imparting important secrets. This is a little-known Sinatra song given a great swing/jazz treatment by Tedd and his cabaret trio. No Big orchestra or synth sounds here (or on any of these tracks) - just the lady and her boys. Track 3 offers up a mash-up of MOONBURN by Hoagy Carmichael & Edward Heyman and THE LATE, LATE SHOW by Murray Berlin & Roy Alfred, and what a terrific marriage these two make, folded into a true easy listening smooth jazz feel. This one is great for snuggles with a bottle of wine and popcorn because Bobby believes there should always be popcorn. Here, a word must be said about nuance - CB's presence in each note, each line is the work of someone who makes the text just as important as the notes. There is something that transcends the combination of words and music, perhaps a secret behind each word that makes the song as a whole come alive. Listen to something as simple as CB singing the word kiss... It sounds like kissing.

Two surprises on this album of American Songbook selections are the inclusion of works by Carly Simon & Stevie Wonder. Track 12 - OVERJOYED by Wonder - adds percussion by Rex Benincasa and the way that Celia floats her high notes is pristine and pure, and perfectly offsets the full richness of her low registers. In fact, this song uses all of the lady's voice, both high and low as well as tapping lightly into her chest belt to give power where it is needed, and the drive and tension of Benincasa's percussion are fully present without ever overwhelming anything. This arrangement by Firth gets a gold star from Bobby. Simon's IT HAPPENS EVERYDAY - Track 5 - is a terrific song in CB's voice, as she and Carly have similar ranges, and this seldom heard song is given new élan vital with Matt Munisteri's guitar. The high twang of his strings juxtaposed (what? Bobby knows words?!) with her rich voice, like a pair of lovers saying their goodbyes. There is truly so much to mine from this album since its creators really went above and beyond to find those "lost gems" - little-known numbers that have been tucked away on records from the past, but that are given new life by BerknFirth.

And now we come to Celia's final track - NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING, with words and music by Ervin Drake: Celia chose to save her title track to the very end, to leave us with a sweet message from a heartfelt love song about seeking love to add to an already full life. Switching effortlessly from her chest to her head voice and back again, Celia unearths such beauty in this one that it stops the breath, and in her liner notes, Celia tributes the great Margaret Whiting (well, the whole Whiting family, really) whose recording of the number (with the late musical ace Tex Arnold) was the key to finding this album within herself.

Album Review: What Do You Get For The Person Who Has Everything? Celia Berk's New Album NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING, Of Course.

This brings Bobby to one final note of praise for Lady Celia Berk, who is not only a true artiste but a real pro. All one has to do is click the link below to visit this album's page on her website - there you will see the gorgeous album artwork, read the FULL list of credits/acknowledgments of her collaborators, listen to her title track (and link out to the album on all the platforms), download a digital CD booklet, read her liner notes by Will Friedwald, AND read all about each song, track by track, their history, her experience with them and their stories - a real treasure trove for those like Little Bobby who can't get enough of stuff like that. In all, my dahlings, you can tell Bobby is in love with Celia Berk and there was not a better album of love songs to start our little affair. So you all know what comes next, of course... This one gets Bobby's full...

5 Out Of 5 Rainbows - Put this one in your collection today.

You Can See And Hear Everything About NOW THAT I HAVE EVERYTHING On The Lady's Webbysite: HERE



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Heigh Ho Friends & “Family”! Bobby Patrick your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in CABARET to bring you all the T. I am a queer reviewer, specializing in the seedy under... (read more about this author)


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