Dancing in the Dark
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With DANCING IN THE DARK, acclaimed cabaret artist Jeff Harnar takes on his first album conceived directly for the recording studio. His vocals remain, as The New York Times put it, "as creamy as ever, with enough of a swagger to give the Sinatra swingers the punch they need," but now hes backed up by a full orchestra in celebrating some of the classic tunes of the Great American Songbook, from Gershwin to Berlin to Porter.
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After the first run of this CD....the word that came to mind was "CLASS ACT"...and Jeff has CLASS rippling from his very being.....I don't think there is another singer who can portray such perfection.....The gods certainly shined on Jeff Harnar and the angels in heaven placed him here for a reason...and after listening to this CD...the reason will be understood! This is A MUST CD....and if you read my review you will understand the GIFT Jeff Harnar has for everyone! Please read on and know these words all come straight from my heart...and I hope they land in yours....to stay!
Jeff has a voice that can only be described as the "feel good sound of all time"....Listening to Jeff singing you can feel all the tensions in your life melt away....Exquisite, Timeless, and Astounding are a few adjectives that immmediately come to mind....This CD has everything you could ever hope for...and if you want to revel in an amazing yet carefree era...."Dancing in the Dark" is the CD to have in your collection of the GREATS!!!!!!!!
So let's start with the title track....
"Dancing in the Dark" - From the very first song "Dancing in the Dark" I immediately fell in love with Jeff's voice, the orchestrations, and the overall feeling of LOVE he is portraying to each and every one of us...!!!!!!!!! This song moved me from the minute I played it....I felt transported in time....My first thoughts and feelings were that of love, hope and joy.....Jeff is spectacular on this title track....He will have you falling in love with love....and from beginning to end...this song is ..absolutely divine!
"Taking A Chance On Love" Nobody with a pulse could possibly sit still listening to Jeff singing this great tune....I find myself dancing all around..Jeff's rendition will move you unlike no other.....BRAVO JEFF for a JOB WELL DONE !!!!!!!!!!
"You Can Do No Wrong" - Beautifully done....masterpiece...soft and sweet...how Jeff's voice melts along with you and the instruments....he was meant to sing these songs and show everyone what it is like to feel words from your soul and showcase them to us....I am truly in awe!!!!
"I Walk A Little Faster" will make you fall in love over and over again....what beautiful words and with Jeff's voice, the story is weaved to perfection....who wouldn't fall in love listening to this story...??? It's impossible not to!
"How Little We Know"....the voice...the piano....this is so soft and sensual...very mellow and absolutely delicious! Truly a joy....
"Put 'Em in a Box" (Tie it with a Ribbon) - I've heard other singers perform this song, but Jeff brings it home! Jeff brings a new thrill to the tune....I can almost see Jeff smiling while performing this tune...I LOVE IT...........What a voice...so powerful..............."oh yeah!!"
"Love, Look Away" - PERFECTION!!!.....One of my all time favorites and Jeff turns this song into one of the GREATS!!.....You can feel the emotion in Jeff's voice and the love in his heart coming out from his vocal chords and landing in your heart.....How can one man show us what love feels like???....well Jeff does it....this song is POWERFUL in voice and presentation!
"I Say Hello" - Jeff.....You've done it again! The joy this song will make you feel, and the emotion when thinking about that love...that one love...this song lives inside of me and is one of the most stunning tracks.....Thank you Jeff....You hit this one out of the park clear to the heavens above...!!
"By Myself" - Get ready...another perfect track....The orchestrations, the trumpet will move you....Jeff's voice...is smooth....the power and range is unreal....!
"On A Clear Day" - Not many artists can sing this song and make it sound so alive and fresh....again Jeff owns this song....so soft and then he rises to a crescendo unequalled by another....How can you not love this man's voice? He is that one in a million....the note at the end is WICKED....whewwwwwwww!!!
"East Side of Heaven" - OK....so this may be the most exquisite song I have ever heard....the presentation again by Jeff is flawless.....I ADORE and LOVE this song...and Jeff feels this to his very soul....and you will too!!!!!!! No doubt an "angel waits for me!".......Thank you for making me fall in love just from these words....what an accomplishment.... You are Brilliant!!!!
"Blue Skies" - Jeff's rendition touched my soul...I have always heard this song at a faster pace, but slowing it down made me stop and really listen to these words and take in all it's meaning....Just a beautiful job....and with Jeff's whisper'esq trill..... this song becomes more special in meaning......then it rises...and Jeff surprises you...."How they Fly!!!!!!!"...He hits every note exactly where he should....again this man's voice will astound you....the humming at the end just finished this off perfectly.....Nothing but Blue Skies says it all!!!!!!!!!!
"Shall We Dance" - Perfect ending to a Perfect CD....and yes, we shall dance!!!....
I know I do... I feel like I am in a Fred Astaire movie...a great production number and I LOVE THAT!!!....This is a stunning work of art by all parties involved....but when Jeff sings....he makes it THE ONE......Dance...........Dance...........Shall We Dance????...You better believe it...!!!
To Jeff.....How is it possible to have perfection on every song???.......You have done it.....UNBELEIVABLE....But that is why you grace the public with your talent, your special gift and that is why you have the makings of a STAR...although I think you are already there..you have reached the level that all other singers can only wish for and hope to someday reach...but you have climbed and reached the plateau of the greats!!!.........
Your CD makes my heart sing, makes me smile, and makes me happy...so very happy....and if the rest of the public wants to feel this elated....just buy
"Dancing in the Dark"....
You will be so happy you own this disc...!!!!!!!!! I am playing it for the third run already this morning....
Jeff - On a personal note, thank you for all you share with us....You are a BRILLIANT SINGER/ARTIST and I hope you will always grace us with your beautiful voice for years to come....
I am one of the LUCKY fans who will soon see Jeff perform live in person....no doubt I'll be smiling from ear to ear witnessing this man's talent...I may have to pinch myself.....just to be a part of the audience watching this man weave his talent for all of us.....Life doesn't get any better than this....!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you Jeff for giving to us...the wonder that is YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!
A new lifelong fan....
Case in point: Jeff Harnar and "Dancing in the Dark."
Jeff Harnar has a gorgeous, sweet baritone voice, perfect for the cabaret style he sings. Though he sounds wonderful when he sings softly (such as the title track or "Shall We Dance"), he also displays tremendous power and breath control on such fare as "Lonely Town", "Love Look Away" and the c.d.'s highlight, or "On a Clear Day." (Mme. Streisand, step aside; you no longer have exclusive rights to this song!)
But I have to acknowledge that he also has a wide vibrato when he is in his mezzo range, which I find somewhat distracting. I know that he could change his tone to be a rounder, fuller and more pleasing sound, and he'd be that much better if he would. If he could or would do that, I think he'd be one of the finest popular singers of the day. But, let's face it: considering the current competition, he already is.
This album sounds gorgeous. And the arrangements by Alex Rybeck, featuring him on keyboards, are top rate.
My enthusiasm in recommending this c.d. to all is matched by my sadness over the fact that I am the first to review it. This c.d. has been on the market for a few months, about as long as the latest from Jamie Cullum, Steve Tyrell and Michael Buble. I think there are probably an aggregate of at least 150 Ammy reviews on those three at this time. This c.d. better evokes the beauty of Sinatra in his prime than any of those three, IMO. RC