New York cabaret singer and jazz pianist Tamer Tewfik's second album is dedicated to familiar entries from the Great American Popular Songbook, spiced with a few originals. Tewfik is equally adept at vocalizing and playing the keyboards. He shows off creative pianist harmonies on one of the originals, "Que Rico," an upbeat Latin cadenced piece propelled by the vibrating percussion of Ray Turull. Tewfik comes from Philadelphia and has impeccable pedagogical credentials. He sings with an expressive, light voice that never wavers from the pitch. He also has a keen sense for the lyrics and an intuitive manner in the way he shapes each line, placing accents so as to give a fresh touch to familiar material. One of the foremost tracks on the CD is "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," which he does with just the guitar of Dave Wood as support. While a familiar figure on New York's cabaret circuit, Tewfik brings a jazzier approach to his performance than most of his cabaret peers, no doubt due to his facility on the piano. He effectively combines passionate cabaret vocalizing with his cool pianism on such cuts as "The Nearness of You." In addition to Turull and Wood, saxophonist/flutist Jessie Heckman enhances the album with his playing on "Our Love Is Here to Stay," "Singing in the Rain," and other cuts. As icing on the cake, Tewfik is joined by Kirsten Lara Becker for a swinging, frolicking "Shall We Dance." Beginning to See the Light is 47 minutes of unpretentious, but highly entertaining New York-style cabaret/jazz and is recommended.
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