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Review: MARK WILLIAM: FEELING GOOD Gives Golden Age Tunes a Youthful Spin at The Green Room 42

Review: MARK WILLIAM: FEELING GOOD Gives Golden Age Tunes a Youthful Spin at The Green Room 42

Seeing Mark William perform feels a bit like seeing Bobby Darin or Frank Sinatra reincarnated as a young man. William has a boyish appearance but a deep love for the classics and his silky smooth vocals sound like something you could have heard on the radio in the 1950s or 60s.

Last Friday, William celebrated the release of his debut album with a sold-out concert at the Green Room 42 in Manhattan. He was joined by a six-piece band, with Clint Edwards on piano, Jonathan Ward Bass on drums, Sam Zerna on bass, Jernej Bervar on guitar, Oskar Stenmark on trumpet, and Dan Meinhardt on saxophone.

His act bridges classics from the golden age of musicals with present-day songs, done in the style of Frank Sinatra. He noted that when he heard modern songs, he liked to think about how he could "Sinatrify" them. Proving the concept worked, he did a wonderful cover of Bruno Mars's "Just the Way You Are."

For his age, William is remarkably talented, a golden-throated crooner. Aptly titled Mark William: Feeling Good, the evening was full of heart, and happiness. He chose mostly high-power up-tempo songs, starting the evening with an energetic mashup of "Lot of Living to Do" and "Shine It On." He noted that he was a fledgling songwriter himself, and drew a lot of inspiration from singer-songwriter Peter Allen. After performing a medley of Allen songs, he debuted a pleasantly tuneful original song, "Wherever We Land."

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, if I had a bone to pick it's that William at times had more gloss than personality when performing. When the songs called for pure upbeat happiness, he was great - on the title song from She Loves Me, he sounded every bit like he was channeling Daniel Massey from the original cast. It only stood out on a couple of numbers, like when he did "I've Gotta Be Me" from Golden Rainbow. It was an ambitious choice, and he sang it better than serviceable-y, but Sammy Davis Jr. did such an iconic cover of that song that William's seemed lackluster in comparison. When William really connected with his material on a deeper level, he was truly fantastic. He did a show-stopping rendition of "I Am What I Am" from La Cage Aux Folles, really putting some soul behind his powerful voice. Even though right now he's definitely a stronger singer than actor, the seeds are there, and I think that someday (perhaps when he's a gained a few more years of experience) he'll be a truly stunning performer.

His album, Mark William: COME CROON WITH ME, is out everywhere on all platforms from Yellow Sound Label. Peter Filichia from Broadway Radio called it "the album of the year."

Follow Mark online at markwilliamnyc.com. Follow the Green Room 42 at thegreenroom42.poptix.com


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