Somewhere in the World

Michelle Pirret

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Somewhere in the World Review

by Dave Nathan

While Bernard Bierman's songs have been recorded on a one-time basis by Frank Sinatra and Billy Eckstine, his works have not earned entry into the elite company of American composers and lyricists such as Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, or even lesser lights. Now comes cabaret singer Michelle Pirret with an album devoted exclusively to works of this 94-year-old tunesmith. The result is a foray into the world of a practitioner of songwriting who has not been heard as frequently as he should have been, although "Vanity" made the Hit Parade in the 1950s. Bierman doesn't go for anything too complex; the music is straightforward as is the message the lyrics deliver. The medley of "Town of Make Believe" and "I Wish That I Could Learn to Fly" sounds as if it were derived from a combination of Finian's Rainbow and Peter Pan. The flying flute of Cecilia Tenconi and the guitar of Howard Alden help Pirret wend her way on the mythical journeys poignantly portrayed by these tunes. With a cello opening by Ann Kim, Pirret is joined by cabaret colleague Steve Ross on "Let Me Be the One," a touching plea-filled love song where both singers urge that he or she "be the someone to become one with you." Another pretty tune is "What Must I Do (To Make You Love Me)," with Alden on guitar once more and Joel Frahm doing a soulful tenor sax. Composer Bierman shows up on "Forget About Me (Reprise)" singing in his Walter Huston manner. All the music here is winsome and ear-catching, and while not trail-blazing, is a very nice diversion.

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