Citizen Staff Writer
First look: CDs
“Rhapsody in Gershwin” (Missing Records)
For several years, singer/pianist Susan Artemis has been pleasing local audiences with her concert concept of Gershwin On Gershwin. She has arranged a show that presents 10 popular songs by George and Ira Gershwin woven into George’s more serious composition “Rhapsody in Blue.” The songs are “S’Wonderful,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Embraceable You,” “They All Laughed,” “The Man I Love,” “How Long Has This Been Going On,” “Our Love Is Here To Stay,” “But Not for Me” and “I Got Rhythm.”
It is a substantial list delivered in her straightforward manner, warming the words as she cares for the phrasing. This unadorned approach shows great respect for the Gershwin brothers’ melodies and imagery. Artemis is also kind enough to include those less familiar verses introducing each song.
She welcomes equally sparse accompaniment by bassist Mike Levy and drummer Alejandro Canelos. What makes the magic work is giving the classic material so much room to breath in such a seamless presentation. Spreading out all those familiar hooks from Gershwin’s “Rhapsody,” Artemis can make a single hook sound downright haunting when she lets it dangle in the air between two intimate vocals.
Find copies at cdbaby.com/ cd/sartemis3