By John Murph | Published January 2018
On this exploration into Sondheim’s theatrical repertoire, Cheryl Bentyne powers her warm, pliant soprano on tunes that maximizes her interpretative acumen while allowing glimpses of personal revelations to pierce through.
Such is the case with her reading of “Wish I Could Forget You,” on which she sings atop Tom Zink’s twilight piano accompaniment. As she uncorks all the angst involved in trying to erase an ex from her heart and mind after a failed romance, it’s difficult not to think of her 2011 divorce from pianist Corey Allen. On her splendid rendition of “Move On,” the Ben Manson String Quartet insulates Bentyne’s reective yet resolute vocals with evocative, autumnal colors. Here she seems to channel the same defiant optimism she ignited while battling then overcoming cancer.
The disc has its zippier moments, too. The strutting “The Ladies Who Lunch” allows Bentyne to engage in some carefree joviality with fellow singers, Janis Siegel and Tierney Sutton, while the frothy “Comedy Tonight” displays Bentyne at her most dramatic as she tackles the jaunty melody with remarkable technical assurance and emotional awareness. And on the spry “Everybody Say Don’t,” Bentyne brings a sense of caeinated elation as she swings the tenacious lyrics underneath Kevin Axt’s barreling bass line and Dave Tull’s crisp drumming.
reArrangements Of Shadows: I Remember; Sand; The Ladies Who Lunch; Everybody Says Don’t; Comedy Tonight; I Wish I Could Forget You; Not A Day Goes By; Move On; Send In The Clowns; The Ladies Who Lunch (Solo CB). (44:52)
Personnel: Cheryl Bentyne, vocals; Kevin Axt, bass (1–4, 7, 10); Dave Tull, drums (1–4, 7, 10); Janis Siegel (3), Tierney Sutton (3), Mark Kibble (9), Armand Hutton (9), vocals; Bevan Manson String Quartet (5, 8); Brad Dutz, percussion (5); John Arrucci, marimba (5); John Beasley (1, 2, 3, 7, 10), Bevan Manson (5, 8), Tom Zink (6), piano; Roy Wooten, cajon (9); Tom McCauley, guitar (7), (shaker (9).