Barbara Brussell


By Rob Lester

Moving from vocalists who sing their own material to those who mine The Great American Songbook, cheers to Barbara Brussell whose CD is virtually all love songs, all the time. She's come up with a radiant and smart love fest. Although mostly ardent, she has the variety of some trouble in paradise. Lerner in Love is her second album and it's delicious. Surveying songs with lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, she visits Camelot, Brigadoon and more. With classic show tunes and a few rarely done, she sings with an actress's instincts and a canny cabaret singer's skills. Barbara is very present in a moment-by-moment way in her interpretations, sounding very wrapped up in whatever point a love song's lyric finds her. She clearly loves to explore a lyric and finds new ways to phrase and shade familiar lines. She can also belt!
With musical director-pianist Tedd Firth and other fine musicians like the veteran guitarist Gene Bertoncini, this is a class act. With the man who wrote the lyrics for My Fair Lady, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Gigi, etc. - all represented here - Barbara had a wealth of literate lyrics on love to choose from and gets to 25 of them (five tracks are pairings). The album is from LML Records, which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2005.