Melissa's Lovely Lullaby Album
Bruce Von Stiers
Melissa Errico is a wonderful vocalist. She is also a great actress. Melissa has graced the stage in Broadway productions ever since her debut role of a musical adaptation of Anna Karenina back in 1992. She's co-starred on stage with such name stars as Jeremy Irons. And she's starred in Michael Legrand productions of Dracula and Amour.
Melissa recently had a guest role in the hit CBS show A Gifted Man. Aside from various guest roles on television shows; Melissa has also been in films like Frequency and Loverboy.
Besides being an actress and vocalist, Melissa is a mother. As a mother-to-be, Melissa organized a group of pregnant women for a socializing and support. This group, Bowery Babes, has now grown to several chapters.
And as giving as Melissa is, she decided that an album featuring songs for babies might be in order. She had already had a hit album several years earlier with Blue Like That and several of her Broadway performances had been recorded.
This album was titled Lullabies & Wildflowers. It was released by Velour Recordings and distributed by the Decca Label Group.
Rob Mathes arranged most of the songs on the album. He also played guitar and keys on it. Rob has been working on a project with Sting and worked with Matthew Morrison of Glee fame on his album.
Besides playing drums on albums for Chris Botti and Rosanne Cash, Joe Bondadio lends his talent to this one. Zev Katz was on acoustic bass and Andy Ezrin played a bit of acoustic piano. Other musicians on the album included Jon Herington, Tim Levebvre, Ben Wittman and Andy Snitzer. Sandra Park provided string conducting duties.
Mockingbird is the first song on the album. Sweet and velvety, Melissa gives the traditional lullaby a slightly pop /jazz influence.
I loved the piano that was played in Melissa's rendition of Hushabye. There is also some awesome string music in the song. The song definitely has a sort of orchestral sound to it with a touch of Windham Hill styled music.
A wonderful Judy Collins song was on the album. Since You Asked is done very well here.
Melissa's brother, singer / songwriter Mike Errico, wrote The Wind Says Shhh. It is a smooth and easy tune with a slight bluesy rock guitar sound in the background. And Mike does backing vocals on the song.
Gentle Child is a song that Melissa based on Berceuse a Jesse, a Cuban lullaby by Chucho Valdez. Melissa wrote the lyrics for this slow and endearing song.
Someone To Watch Over Me is an oft recorded song by the Gershwin brothers. But I don't think I've ever heard it on a lullaby album. Melissa does a wonderful job with this classic tune.
Gartan Mother's Lullaby shows a higher range of vocals at times, demonstrating Melissa's versatility. The song has some great string music.
There is also a terrific rendition of Rockabye Baby.
And a fun and wistful time can be found in Melissa's version of the Tom Petty song, Wildflowers.
A soft and easy song is the Thad Jones song A Child Is Born.
Tiny Sparrow is a beautiful song with some fantastic saxophone in it.
There are several Beatles songs that transition into wonderful lullabies. Goodnight is one of them. Melissa does a superb job with her rendition of the song.
Melissa ends the album with an old styled 78 record rendition of the Sammy Cohn tune Walking Happy.
Lullabies & Wildflowers is a truly wonderful album. Melissa Errico has a magnificent voice and her choice of songs for this album couldn't be better. Melissa's vocals, along with the great musicians playing for her are terrific. Even if you don't have any little ones to play this album for, it is definitely one to add to your collection.
You can get Lullabies & Wildflowers from amazon.com and other online and traditional music outlets.
Melissa also just released an album featuring the songs of Michael Legrand called Legrand Affair.
To learn more about Melissa Errico, the Lullabies & Wildflowers album or the Legrand Affair album, visit her official web site at http://www.melissaerrico.com/
© 2011 Bruce E Von Stiers