"Listening to Mary Sheeran sing, I am transported to a world of romance and fun. I have been enjoying her cabaret shows for years and am so glad she's recorded this first-rate CD so I can now listen to her whenever I want!” --Retta Blaney (theatre critic; author of Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life Through the Eyes of Actors)“’In this world of ordinary people, extraordinary people, I’m glad there is’ Mary Sheeran. At once, I am struck by Mary’s intelligence in her tasteful musical choices, as she navigates around phrases, dynamics, lyric interpretation -- never going for the obvious -- but ALWAYS going for the truth. Her artistry is constantly a surprise, as is evidenced in her extraordinary, uncommon treatment of The Dolphin.Even here, she finds truth -- never going for the anticipated. No, Mary makes the choice to sing The Dolphin aa jazz ballad instead of the original upbeat tempo -- amazing and devastating and profound and funny and sad and wonderful is the result. What is amazing to me is this gorgeous classically trained instrument is juxtaposed with an intuitive jazz singer’s instincts with a strong internal meter. Her phrases become at once part of a song being told instead of the song being sung. Mary brings the words to life, all in a delicious brew mined with nuggets of passion, playfulness, and grace. That is the ticket for me.” Carol Fredette, jazz recording artist and performer, vocal coach and producer, has been associated with many world-class jazz luminaries—among them, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, Al Cohn and Steve Kuhn.
And oh how these songs expand time for me!
South Pacific was the first musical I ever heard. For some reason, it was the only LP of a musical we had in our house when I was growing up. My father (Pat), an excellent singer, sang along with recordings of Bing Crosby (Swinging on a Star, Mairzy Dotes ). My mother (Peg) preferred Frank Sinatra and big production numbers, which she would wail over the noise of the vacuum cleaner (Begin the Beguine, Puttin' on the Ritz). Pat, Peg, and their friends would get together and sing ballads and hilarious songs (some original) for hours on end, often staging musical revues in full costume for their own pleasure. Dancing in the Dark was one favorite (and one Pat would sing to Peg when they danced in our kitchen). Dolphins' Song reminds me of some of their more irreverent concoctions.
Years later, as a classical and opera singer, I also sang madrigals at Renaissance fairs, including Morley's It Was a Lover and His Lass. Carol Fredette introduced me to John Dankworth's jazzy version. After stepping in front of the cabaret mic, I discovered other classic songs (I Don't Want to Know, My Heart Stood Still, With Every Breath I Take), each of them with their own personal meaning in addition to their own specific histories, all live and growing, spring to winter and back to spring.
In honor of Pat and Peggy and of my friend and colleague John Eggleston (who handed me Through the Years), 10% of the proceeds for this CD will be donated to the Lung Cancer Alliance (www.lungcanceralliance.org). As the only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to patient support and advocacy for people living with lung cancer and those at risk for the disease, Lung Cancer Alliance is committed to leading the movement to reverse decades of stigma and neglect by empowering those with or at risk for the disease, elevating awareness and changing health policy. – Mary Sheeran
OrderPiano and Orchestrations: Michika Ishikawa