Michael Scannell

Love Changes Everything

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Vocalist/poet Mike Scannell chose the Andrew Lloyd Webber co-write "Love Changes Everything" as the title track to his debut and sole album. He assembled a first-class team on this collection, ranging from Director of Piano at Berklee College of Music Paul Schmeling to synthesizer player Brad Hatfield, who has appeared with the Boston Pops, as well as the notable team of Mike Palter & Lynne Jackson. Scannell was a New England Conservatory graduate who would blend in with the crowd around the piano at the legendary Boston men's bar the Napolean Club, his distinctive voice heard on Friday and Saturday nights for many years. He does an admirable job on material ranging from Palter & Jackson's excellent co-write with Arthur Hamilton, "It's All Right to Be Afraid," to Charles Chaplin's "Smile," the Henry Mancini/Leslie Bricusse co-write "Crazy World," Stephen Sondheim's "Losing My Mind," and 13 others -- two of the songs performed in medley fashion. The three poems included with the six-page booklet are too little and quite beautiful. "A Quiet Realization" displays a unique skill of subtle communication in total contrast to his powerful voice, as does the introspective material on the back cover of the booklet. Scannell's sudden and unexpected passing was, like the closing of Boston's oldest gay bar, the end of an era and a sad silencing. Love Changes Everything should have been a nice beginning and is, instead, a wonderful gift from a talented and very thoughtful human being.

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