Personnel: Nancy LaMott (vocals); Steve LaSpina (bass instrument); Christopher Marlowe (piano); John Redsecker (drums).
Recording information: Tavern On The Green, New York, NY (12/1995).
Arranger: Christopher Marlowe .
There's a very good reason that the sticker on this lovely cabaret-styled live concert date is billed as the singer's "first new release in eight years" -- she died of cancer in December, 1995, just weeks after the performance documented here. The release of this disc and the rest of her catalog in 2005 isn't quite like the Eva Cassidy story. Cassidy was an unknown when she died, but Nancy LaMott, discovered in the late '80s on the Manhattan club scene by composer and producer David Friedman, was quite a growing sensation when her time came. She recorded a total of five albums on the label Friedman created for her, appeared on numerous morning talk shows, was a critical favorite and performed for the Clintons at the White House several times. The uniqueness of this release goes far beyond her emotionally compelling voice, unpretentious flair for phrasing and charming verbal asides; her choice of material is unique and atypical. For every standard love song ("I Didn't Know What Time It Was"), there's a wittily rendered ditty like "Jeepers Creepers" or "I Got the Sun in the Morning," or a literary type piece like Rupert Holmes' "The People That You Never Get to Love." Her best performance is the restrained version of "Waters of March," which is done with sparse, piano based accompaniment. She's also all aces on Friedman's inspirational tunes "Listen to My Heart" and "Help Is on the Way," which display an optimism that stands in the face of her lifelong health struggles. While it's doubtful Lamott will enjoy the posthumous phenomenon Cassidy has, hers is still a timeless talent well-worth discovering. ~ Jonathan Widran