Morelenbaum2 / Sakamoto’s A Day in New York

cover art for A Day In New YorkMike Stiles wrote this review.

Every once in a while I get a CD to review like this one. It doesn’t really fall into my category of taste but it carries the distinction of high technical merit, sort of like some ice skaters’ programs.

First, let’s attend to the technical details of review. The crew on Morelenbaum2 / Sakamoto are Paula Morelenbaum, vocals; Jaques Morelenbaum, cello and backing vocals; Ryuichi Sakamoto, piano and backing vocals; Luiz Brasil, guitar and backing vocals; Marcelo Costa, percussion and backing vocals. My one critique is that the arrangements would have benefited from more instrumental interludes, but hey, this is Sony we’re dealing with here, and who knows whither the producer cometh?

OK, here it is: This is a CD of piano bar smarm Jazz. You know, “The Girl from Ipanema” type of thing. I confess that my opinion of this type of music cannot be adequately represented by anything original on my part. To my mind, this type of music was quite properly rendered in Alan Rudolph’s film version of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.’s Breakfast of Champions. Recall from that film, if you will, the character Bunny. He plays piano in a lounge when he’s not in his underground digs. Unfortunately, his subterranean domicile is where his similarity to Bugs ends.

Oops, Mr. Word Counter says I have another 90 to go to meet my quota of 300. Funny thing, quotas, aren’t they? I wonder how many artists in the world would get more exposure if certain labels didn’t have a cookie-cutter approach to their markets. But that would be a risk-taking venture, something that the stockholders and board wouldn’t approve of. Can I go now? No, another 25 or so words left?

New paragraph. I can already hear my editors advising me to delve into the content of the CD. What can I say without getting myself into deeper trouble? That this CD would be perfect for your average over-priced under-lit “romantic” restaurant? OK, there, I said it, I hope that

(Technical Note: 300 word count achieved).

(Sony Classical, 2003)

Gary Whitehouse

Gary has been reviewing music, books and more at the Green Man Review since sometime in the previous Millennium. He lives in a mostly hipster-free part of Oregon, where he enjoys dogs, books, music, the outdoors, and craft beer, cider, and coffee.

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