Stacy Sullivan

It's a Good Day:
A Tribute to Miss Peggy lee

LML Music
Reprising her hit Peggy Lee show, It’s a Good Day, Stacy Sullivan has been packing them in all over in what became the show of the year by any standard. It’s all brilliantly recorded on this easy-listen disc that is classy and technically perfect vocally and musically with a lethal assist from musicians Jon Weber on piano, Steve Doyle on bass and Bucky Pizzarelli’s guitar. It kicks off with “I Love Being Here with You” that slides into a swinging “I Got Rhythm” which moves into fast-paced “My Romance” and “One Kiss.” These last two songs are usually quite languid. But Sullivan uses the Peggy Lee arrangements. Her unique spin on the likes of cozy ballads, like “Till There Was You,” make you forget others who have recorded them.

“I Love the Way You’re Breaking My Heart” with Pizzarelli’s magic guitar is one of the album’s highlights and will have you pressing the repeat button over and over. The cut alone is worth buying this special album by one of today’s most special song stylists. “Where Did They Go?” is given a music box treatment while sung with a feeling that is so haunting it almost jolts the emotions in this reflective song that has been overlooked through the years. Here, Sullivan’s version is classic. One wonders why this song has not become the hit it deserves. Her delivery vaguely recalls the likes of Piaf or Dietrich.

Of course, it is all made into a top-draw release by the flawless, well-crafted jazz stylings of Weber’s arrangements and his solo piano licks that can be jaw-dropping. The album becomes a showcase for him as well as Sullivan. On “Cheek to Cheek,” they all fly, but Doyle’s simpatico bass line is the lead that ties this complicated arrangement together and makes it perfect. And, of course, it would all be little without the showcasing of Miss Lee’s work as a cutting blues singer and exceptional songwriter. This is a disc that recalls recordings by Rosemary Clooney, Helen Forrest…and Peggy Lee. It’s a gift to the ears to hear such simplicity transformed into gentle greatness. It wraps with a poignant reading of “Angels on My Pillow”—recorded by a cabaret angel whose reemergence on the cabaret scene over the last few years couldn’t be more welcome.

John Hoglund
Cabaret Scenes
march 1, 2014
www.cabaretscenes.org