Marissa Mulder

Illusions

MIranda Music
There’s no avoiding comparing Marissa Mulder with the late, great Blossom Dearie. She has the same little girl voice tinged with worldliness, and even sings a song or two associated with Ms. Dearie. The only thing missing is decades of experience coloring her interpretations, but that will come.

Mulder’s Illusions CD, recorded live at the Metropolitan Room in NYC, has a well-thought-out program that hits every mood from the hip “My Attorney Bernie” (Dave Frishberg) to the wide-eyed innocence of “Never Never Land” (Jule Styne/Betty Comden & Adolph Green). Somehow Mulder molds her voice to each song. Her “Day In, Day Out” (Rube Bloom/Johnny Mercer) and “That Old Black Magic” (Harold Arlen/Mercer) are cool, the latter even more so with its long bass solo opening (John Loehrke). Similarly, Pete Anderson’s dreamy clarinet solo in “Lullaby for Nathan Charles” (Michael Leonard/David Hajdu) set the song’s meditative mood. “My Kind of Guy” (Bill Zeffiro, 2013 MAC Award winner for Special Material) is the comically sad story of a woman who always manages to attract “losers.” Her sighs interspersed in the song say it all.

She reaches the depths in “The Money Tree” (John Kander/Fred Ebb) as she realizes that her love will return only if the world is turned on it’s head. Edward Kleban’s materialistic “Better” is fun, but Joni Mitchell’s clear-eyed “Both Sides Now” brought her back to the childlike innocence of “Rainbow Connection” (Paul Williams/Kenneth Ascher) which suited her sweet voice beautifully.

Musical Director Bill Zeffiro used his small band—John Loehrke (bass), Pete Anderson (sax/clarinet/flute)—well, backing Mulder with varied colors and timbres.

Joel Benjamin
Cabaret Scenes
April 1, 2013
www.cabaretscenes.org