Jeremy Schonfeld 37 Notebooks
CD Review by Scott "Dr. Music" Itter


Track listing
1. Storyteller 2. Try 3. Greta 4. Never the Bride 5. My My 6. Falling Apart
7. Rock and Roll Fag 8. Sarah-Jane 9. Do You Want My Life 10. I Was Meant for You
11. A Simple Plan 12. Song for New Orleans 13. House of Love 14. 37 Notebooks

Label: Jersongs Music / Release Date: May 6, 2008

When this one hit my desk I knew very little about Jeremy Schonfeld. The cover photo, set in a classy sepia tone, captured what I assumed was Schonfeld in silhouette, playing an upright piano. I thought to myself, this looks like a great disc to just lie out in the hammock and enjoy with my eyes sealed shut. It turns out that the cover photo represents the record quite well - at least for me.

Schonfeld is a singer songwriter that finds much of his work as a musical theater composer. A former student at the famed Berklee College of Music, Schonfeld has worked with some of the biggest names on Broadway, including Tony winners Jarrod Emick and Sara Ramirez, and Wicked's Julia Murney, among many others.

This record is a collection of works that Schonfeld assembled from a stack of notebooks that he had placed in the bench of his piano. The sound is an amalgamation of many styles and vocal tones. With the exception of only a few, most of these compositions adapt well to song. There are Gordon Lightfoot inspired folk songs ("37 Notebooks," "Storyteller"); there are sensitive ballads ("Falling Apart," "I Was Meant For You"); and there are hook laden pop tracks as well ("Try," "Sarah-Jane"). But, the interesting feature of this album is the fact that these songs are all done by different singers. The only singer to do more than one track is Schonfeld himself. I think this affords the disc a diversity that keeps it playful and adventurous. There are a few voices that I would've discarded in favor of some others, but I think the disc offers every fan of strong songwriting a few voices that they can attach themselves to. Another highlight from the record is an amazing tenor sax solo from Todd Anderson on the track, "Do You Want My Life?" I would urge any fan of Jazz or adult contemporary music not to miss out on experiencing this song.

Overall, this did a fine job of putting me in another world as I hung between the oak and elm trees.

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