New York cabaret performer Jeff Harnar has taken his one-man show honoring Sammy Cahn, which has played New York venues, into the studio and the result is this CD. Paying tribute to one of popular music's most prolific and successful lyricists is bound to be a winner and in the matter of this CD, it is. Cahn penned hundreds of tunes and was one of the more important lyricists in the old tradition of Broadway and the classical Hollywood musical. Thirty of his film songs were nominated for Academy Awards, four winning. Two of these, "All the Way" and "Call Me Irresponsible," are included in this collection. Harnar is no slouch at winning awards himself, having been named Best Male Vocalist twice by the Manhattan Association of Cabarets. Cahn worked with several composers during his long career. Perhaps his most notable collaborations were with Jimmy Van Heusen and Jule Styne, and several of their output are included. Harnar is very attuned to Cahn's lyrical style and obviously enjoys what he's doing. He is very much at home with such romantic ballads as "I'll Never Stop Loving You" and the classic "I Should Care," which he delivers with an expressive, hushed manner. Most of the time he is accompanied quite sympathetically by pianist Alex Rybeck. On the up-tempo swinging material such as "My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)" and "Come Fly With Me," Harnar is joined by horns, rhythm, and strings. The latter has some jazzy sax by Mort Silver. One of the more attractive segments is the medley of songs associated with World War II, most of which have survived and are still performed. This album is a good representation of the cabaret style and is recommended for admirers of that vocal art.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan