"I can only hope that the legal battles that are keeping the bulk on Nancy LaMott's material out of reach of the public are cleared up soon. Hers is an extraordinary voice and deserves to be heard. Extraordinary? Actually, the word seems inadequate. Perfect diction and shading, remarkable attention to lyrics, an ability to sustain a note forever without it ever seeming like showing off. I love great singing, regardless of genre--and Nancy LaMott was a great singer, capable of masterful interpretations of everyone from Johnny Mercer to James Taylor. But it's her versions of three David Friedman songs ("Listen to My Heart," "We Can Be Kind," and "I'll be Here With You.") and a sequence of Alan and Marilyn Bergman songs (especially "Ordinary Miracles") that provide the emotional core of this album. Ironic that she should be singing of new beginnings and "ordinary miracles" so shortly before her death. (This was to be her final recording.) Is it too cliched to talk about her work as a "testament to the spirit"? To hell with it, her remarkable work is just that. That a fatally ill woman could sing with such passion, skill and artfulness is downright astonishing.It's frustrating writing a review of an out-of-print, used-copy-only (if you're lucky) release. But at a time when so much attention is being focused on Eva Cassidy, it seem appropriate to note that we lost another great, woefully under-recognized vocal talent in the 90s. It seems almost criminal that so much of her best work be made unavailable. I know eventually it will all come out again in some glorious box set--but please don't keep us on tenterhooks much longer. This is music that needs to be heard."
A Must Have for Any LaMott Fan.
Gregor von Kallahann | 07/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"... Sadly, most of Ms. LaMott's recordings are out of print due to legal battles with her estate. This makes her untimely death even more tragic. Ms. LaMott is indeed one of the finest cabaret arists of the 20th Century. Her work should be heard by everyone.
The material on this CD is a testament to Ms. LaMott's wonderful versatility as a singer. She easily glides from soaring contemporary ballads like "Listen to my Heart" to the wonderfully intimate "Secret 0'Life" and still proves she can belt out a Broadway standard like "I Got the Sun in the Morning" with her own unique take.
While some of the material can border on the sentimental, Ms. LaMott approaches each song with such truth and conviction you'll find yourself buying into every key change and crescendo.
This album certainly rivals "My Foolish Heart" for her best recording ever. ..."
Still listening to this great heart.
Mary Whipple | New England | 08/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When Nancy LaMott recorded this album, her first with a full orchestra, she had already been diagnosed with the cancer which would take her life. Delaying surgery for a month so that she could record the album, a collection of intimate love songs, she sings with such simplicity, honesty, and passion for life that no one can doubt that Nancy intended this album to be her continuing legacy. Though she was always a great "saloon singer" and consummate actress with a song, this album is special. Here she sings directly to the heart of each listener, imbuing each song with a lasting message of love.
The three songs she sings by David Friedman, her long-time producer, are the most passionate and most personal. The soft orchestral introduction to "Listen to My Heart," full of strings and woodwinds, emphasizes her clear, soft vibrato and her ability to interpret lyrics as she asks you to listen to her heart, "Listen to it sing." She sings of spending her life "going one way to one dream," but then her voice becomes bigger, stronger, and louder and the accompaniment swells, and she announces triumphantly, "You're here and you're listening..." In "We Can Be Kind," also by Friedman, she asks "What can we do when there's nothing we can do," then answers, "We can be kind, we can take care of each other." In a strong, triumphant close, she asserts, "Together we can weather whatever tomorrow brings." In the final song on the album, "I'll Be Here with You," she sings almost as if the song is a lullaby, softly telling the listener, "Don't Be Afraid," assuring him that "whenever you need me, I'll be here with you...I'll keep you from harm," a message that now achieves particular poignancy.
The upbeat "I Got the Sun in the Morning" by Irving Berlin, with its tenor sax and piano, the assertive "Have You Got Any Castles, Baby?" by Johnny Mercer, and the stunning integration of Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen's "Out of this World" with Cole Porter's "So in Love" all take on new meaning in Nancy's hands. In the latter combination, she slows the tempo and sings "Out of This World" as a soft, mysterious ballad, accompanied by bass, guitar, harp, and strings, then uses a piano bridge into "So in Love," also with harp, and when she soars at the end into "I'm yours till I die," it's a "chicken skin" moment. The strength and purity of Nancy LaMott's voice and the control which allows her to give personal interpretations to old songs are at their peak in this album, the vibrant legacy of a strong woman and unforgettable "saloon singer." Mary Whipple "
Puts Streisand to Shame!
Mary Whipple | 02/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nancy LaMott was many things: a talented singer, a musician whose song interpretations were often brilliant, a loving human being, and an artist from whom many of today's singers could learn quite a lot. Her untimely death was tragic, as she had indeed overcome many health problems, and other obstacles, to become "The Best Cabaret Singer in New York" (according to New York magazine.) I had the honor of running her fan club, and was pleased to discover that she was a nice person in addition to being extremely talented. Her CD's, sadly, are being pulled off the market due to a legal battle with her estate, so BUY THEM NOW while you can! I feel I must amend an earlier posted review - "Listen to My Heart," the title track, is NOT from "Jekkyl and Hyde." This album is not to be missed."
A Brit discovers a Diamond.
Mr. E. P. Wilson | 05/19/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am a Brit, living in the UK, and I have just discovered this lady. Here voice is incredible. The song ' Not Exactly Paris' I had not heard before, but WOW, what a song! The interpretations are magic. Thank you, Amazon, for providing what few copies there are of Nancy Lamotts work. A pure diamond of a singer."