"Meryl slyly caresses her 12 song programme with remarkable results. On "The Lady Is A Tramp" (Rodgers/Hart) she deliciously swings with complete confidence. It's too bad that this standard is seldom sung by a female. "But Beautiful" (Burke/VanHeusen) pleasurably goes on for five minutes and with guitarist Bill Kopper it's definitely on the right track. "Close Your Eyes" (Petkere) is swung and again features her exceptional guitarist Bill Kopper. Meryl is so comfortable here that she midway scats in perfect pitch. "This Is Always" (Gordon/Warren) is most special. Treated as a slow, really slow, dark aria it's exceptionally spellbinding.
Another highlight is Meryl's version of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (Dubin/Warren). More folks should consider singing this undated standard. Ms. Romer is sure-footed and and vocally perfect. The CD title is most accurate: Meryl is surely someone whose great future appears most certain." Reviewed by Dan Singer
Friday, 17th July 2009
Cabaret Review at the Iridium
"Singer Meryl Romer came to the Big Apple from Boulder, Colorado to celebrate her new CD, "So Sure", at the Iridium on July 8th, 2009. She brought a crowd of family and friends to hear her, and a band of Colorado-based musicians: Eric Deutsch on piano, Bill Kopper on guitar, Mike McGinnis on tenor sax and flute, Jonti Siman on bass and Marc Dalio on drums. Guitarist Bill Kopper arranged most of the music.
Although this is Meryl┬´s debut CD, and her first foray into the professional music world, she is not a youngster. Many years of singing have helped her obtain an individual style with a unique, relaxed tone. The original ┬"I┬´ve Waited Long Enough,┬" was a good opener for altoist Romer. Presented as an old-fashioned honky-tonk, it set the mood of the evening. Kopper┬´s guitar solo brought more modern elements to the tune, and he continued to show his expertise throughout the set.
Several of the songs were standards: ┬"The Lady is a Tramp,┬" done in an unusual way with a shuffle groove initiated by Kopper; the ballads ┬"But Beautiful┬" (one of my favorite tunes) and ┬"This is Always┬" ┬– Meryl sang the verse, delving into the tune with heartfelt gestures. Toots Thielemans┬´ ┬"Bluesette,┬" was also a good vehicle for Meryl, where she phrased the swing section freely, scatting a bit, and coming back after the solos with a final chorus that exhibited a gravelly tone of her voice.
┬"Solomon Sang,┬" a Cassandra Wilson tune arranged by Kopper, was very tastefully done. Mike McGinnis (who played tenor sax for most of the set) was featured on flute during this straight-8th note groove. I felt the band was most comfortable on this style of music.
After a few more songs in different styles (a Bob Dylan tune in a country-western fashion, ┬"Close Your Eyes┬" ┬– medium swing with a cool jazzy solo on tenor, and ┬"Right on Time┬" ┬– an original, a 12-bar blues about her early days in Brooklyn), they ended with the title cut of the CD, ┬"So Sure.┬" This introspective piece was sung with only Eric Deutsch┬´s piano for accompaniment. Good luck to Meryl Romer in the future!
Lucy Galliher, reviewer for Jazz Notes at Cabaret Exchange
Tuesday, 14th July 2009
Meryl Romer is So Sure at Iridium
The photo on her debut CD ┬"So Sure┬" shows Meryl Romer with a knowing, come hither look, deep cleavage, saying she┬´s got the goods. As a vocalist, she┬´s new but her sound rooted in jazz traditions makes you think, where has she been? But that is the story of her music. In three original songs, by writer/producer Casey Collins and composer Eric Moon, ┬"I┬´ve Waited Long Enough,┬" ┬"Right on Time,┬" and her signature ┬"So Sure,┬" Romer recounts a personal saga that explains the right turn she took somewhere in her ripe ┬´50┬´s to pursue the passion for music that was lurking within her since childhood. Covering Sinatra-famed standards like ┬"Big Spender┬" or ┬"Lady is a Tramp,┬" or Cassandra Wilson┬´s ┬"Solomon Sang┬" and Toots Thielemans┬´ ┬"Bluesette,┬" Romer suggests her jazzy influences. With ┬"You┬´re a Big Boy Now┬" from Dylan┬´s ┬"Blood on the Tracks,┬" she spills into rock with a new arrangement. Backed by a first-rate band: Erik Deutsch on piano, Bill Kopper on guitar, Jonti Siman on bass, Marc Dallo on drums and Mike McGuinness on tenor sax, Romer knows how to put on a great show. As the packed room at Iridium could hear last week, any time might have been ┬"right on time,┬" and this time is more than good.
Here┬´s a lady that comes out of Colorado, middle aged, with nothing to prove, and puts out a wallop of a rookie cd. Meryl Romer, Brooklyn-bred and Boulder-based, delivers a semi-autobiographical disc that has taken a lifetime to produce. Like the winner in ┬"Slumdog Millionaire,┬" she uses her life experiences to answer all the right questions in this collection of standards of self-penned tunes. She has a world weathered look, demeanor and tone that brings to mind the character Belle in Gone With The Wind: seen it all, and wiser with all of the experiences.
Her savvy voice is well framed by the cooking little team of Erik Deutsch/keyboards, Bill Kopper/g, Marc Dalio/dr, Jonit Siman/b and Robert Kyle/tenor/flute. She is adept at giving clever reinterpretations to songs like ┬"Lady Is a Tramp,┬" by giving it a bluesy vamp. She sounds like the vamp on those old cigar commercials (am I dating myself?) on a Gilda-esque ┬"Big Spender┬" a campfire storyteller on Cassandra Wilson┬´s ┬"Solomon Song┬" and a ┬"last go round┬" at the local watering hole on ┬"I┬´ve Waited Long Enough.┬" The band can blues it, snap it and bop it with the best of them. This lady is a Rocky Mountain High!
Friday, 8th May 2009
"Waiting until her 50's to launch a singing career, Meryl Romer enters the game with a lived-in voice that fits comfortably into the standards featured on this debut effort. Her voice casts off regret-laden lyrics of longing with a been-down-that-road-before nonchalance that can't quite rid itself of the pain-the singer simply projects a confidence that she'll get through this latest punch to the gut. Her reworking of the Bob Dylan nugget "You're a Big Girl Now" is likewise turned into a nice, trail-thrice-taken tune. But even with this capable handling of the American Songbook, the Casey Collins/Eric Moon originals ("I've Waited Long Enough," "Right on Time," "So Sure") are the true treats on the record, providing tailor-made vehicles for Romer's artistic vision.
Written by Matt Marshall, Jazz Improv NY May 2009
Thursday, 2nd April 2009
"Meryl Romer: So Sure (2008 , Lady Pearl Music): Singer, based in Boulder, CO; b. 1951, started her jazz career in 2002, and dedicates this album "to all those who have waited long enough." Took it seriously when she started, studying with Casey Collins (producer here, and co-author with Eric Moon of three originals) and Erik Deutsch (pianist here, arranger), and sought out further pointers from Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Attractive voice, best on songs with a little wit like "Lady Is a Tramp" and "Big Spender," and her "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" is touching. Band fits well. Hard not to root for her. B+(**)"
Tom Hull, http://www.tomhull.com/blog/archives/1096-guid.html
Monday, 30th March 2009
"This is an unusual journey featuring a girl who at eleven was fascinated my music. She was always humming melodies, whispering lyrics and then over four decades later gathered the confidence to stand behind a microphone in a recording studio. That girl is now the mature Meryl Romer. She's still young at heart making her professional debut at 51. The program is a collection of popular standards. Romer shines on "But Beautiful", gives us a taste of country on "You're A Big Boy Now", and touches the romantic blues of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". She proves that it is never too late to follow your dreams."
D. Oscar Groomes, O's Place Jazz Newsletter
Monday, 30th March 2009
"The life of jazz vocalist Meryl Romer would inspire the staunchest pessimist to believe that dreams are possible.....debut album, So Sure, is A-class, smooth swing and sparkling vocal jazz.....a classic jazz repertoire that will pique the interest of hardcore jazz enthusiasts....."
Susan Frances, Reviewer/Interviewer, www.jazzreview.com
Monday, 30th March 2009
"Vocalist Meryl Romer brings to classic jazz landscapes what Claude Monet brought to Impressionist Art, hues that tingle the sensations and images that are dreamy reflections of beauty.........an expression of her vocal register's elasticity and ability to live in the mood of the songs.......an artist whose expressive style of singing was made for live shows"
Susan Frances, Review/Interview....www.helium.com
Monday, 30th March 2009
Jazz singer Meryl Romer has taken a unique route to Thursday's release party for her debut CD, So Sure, at the Rock N Soul Cafe.....
Vince Darcangelo, Entertainment Writer, Boulder Daily Camera
Monday, 2nd March 2009
"Jazz vocalist Meryl Romer comes alight with a Billy Holiday radiance and a Dinah Washington caressive vocalese on her first recorded outing So Sure from the Lady Pearl Music label. Smooth romantic currents are slate with soul jazz lacing in these tracks. The album consists of three original pieces penned by Romer's writer and producer Casey Collins and composer Eric Moon, in addition to nine standards. Romer handles the vocal melodies with finesse making these songs come to life. Whether she sings them in a cafe setting, a concert hall or the privacy of a bedroom, they resonate with soul wrapped snugly in her sultry voicing. She sings these tunes as if they came out of her own autobiography, shading them with exquisite nuances and memorable moments of insight into the emotions behind the words....Romer's songs exude a deep sense of pride and heart for jazz music. The song selection for So Sure showcases Romer's vast palette to utter perfection. Her vocal style brings out these song's beauty and listening pleasure. Let's face it, Meryl Romer could sing MC Hammer's "Can't Touch This" and make it sound lacy and frilly and absolutely exquisite. She has that kind of touch. She is one of a kind." - Susan Frances, JazzReview.com
"A sassy, sexy jazz vocal outing with some real depth... fun stuff that's really going to take you by surprise." - Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher, midwestrecord.com
"Meryl Romer embodies the resonant renaissance of the romantic singers of the 40's. Her sound has the voluptuous shape of Sarah Vaughan, the ease and elegance of Ella Fitzgerald and a heart-shuddering vibrato reminiscent of Judy Garland. She sings with a tempered tenderness of heart blown through the essence of maturity. When she wraps her velvet voice around the lyrical standards of jazz, there is an innuendo of innocence that yields a most sophisticated lady." – Vocalist and Producer, Casey Collins
"This Lady swings, "Tramp" swings, love "Close Your Eyes"... Bluesette, great version of classic Toots... just love the album." - Toney Soley, Apple AM, Devon, England
THANK YOU... WE LOVE MERYL "This is one of the best CD's we've got our hands on! We got an immediate response from our listeners and very positive reviews from our "Core Jazz" listeners. We're already looking forward to her next album... good stuff!" - Darrin Scott Kibbey, Gen. Mgr. & Host of "The Morning Wake-Up Call", WVCR FM, Loudonville, New York
"New York, New York... Ms. Romer will be visiting the heart of jazz in New York City to promote So Sure. For Meryl Romer being sure of her abilities as a vocalist comes as second nature and on her debut release So Sure. The singer embodies that driving spirit and exudes confidence at every twist and turn on all 12 tracks... delivers a career defining performance on So Sure... each composition is carefully handled with love and emotion... Meryl wins over your heart quickly with these timeless renditions of these classic songs from the American Songbook... she brings life and devotion to every tune with her moving vocal style." - Keith 'MuzikMan' Hannaleck, JazzReview.com
"Listening to and loving Meryl at this moment!" - Allen Gale - Boppin' in the Big Easy with Big Al WTUL New Orleans 91.5 FM
"I received Meryl Romer's CD yesterday... I'm thrilled to receive this wonderful recording... There are five tunes I have not heard before, and I've been around the music scene for over fifty years." - Dick Hughes, Community Radio Broadcaster Jazz Action Productions, Ryde, Australia
"Lady Is A Tramp", arranged by Bill Kopper in a relevant and surprising new version... Singer Meryl Romer is a new and beautiful find in this cycle dedicated to The Mambo Kings and The Jazz Queens, her reigning won't be just for these radiophonic sessions, but will last forever." - Toni Basanta, Radio Producer/Programmer at WRUV 90.1 FM Burlington, Vermont