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MP3 Sheera Ben-David Sings Jacques Brel - JAZZ: Jazz Vocals

A new and dramatic interpertation of the beloved Belgian composer Jacques Brel by one of NY''s most exciting up and coming cabaret singers.

10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, EASY LISTENING: Cabaret

Sheera Ben-David is the Melinda Doolittle of cabaret. In December 2005, there was no question that Ben-David was the best singer in the final round of the Oak Room’s first (and, to date, only) Young Artists Competition; songs nestled into the warm, earthy folds of her voice like lovers on a bearskin rug. And yet, in a scenario familiar to American Idol’s class act Doolittle, the panel of judges wound up awarding the contest’s grand prize—a two-week run at the prestigious Algonquin Hotel venue—to a younger, sunnier and less accomplished contestant. Recognizing the injustice of this outcome, the Oak Room went ahead and booked Ben-David anyhow for a weeklong run last year, in which the 29-year-old singer demonstrated interpretive acumen to undergird her big and lush sound. (That she moonlights as a cantor at a Rockland County synagogue is a testament to her versatility.)

Ben-David’s taste in material gravitates to the serious side, with many selections by the tormented Belgian troubadour Jacques Brel—to whom she devoted her 2001 debut CD—as well as dramatic pop songs by modern writers, such as John Bucchino’s tender, sad “If I Ever Say I’m Over You.” But the heaviness is offset by haimishly irreverent patter and comic numbers, including a foray into Gallic nonsense in “The French Song.” Her two shows at the Met Room this month (June 23, 30) offer another chance to hear what makes her singing so satisfying: Others may flash brighter in the pan, but in the final reduction, Ben-David’s rich and substantial taste wins the day. — Adam Feldman ( Time Out NY)

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