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The Moment After by Marcus Goldhaber

Marcus Goldhaber appears to be a nice enough guy. He certainly cherishes childhood memories and the times that his family gathered around the piano and sang standards without sheet music. Goldhaber would sing with his mother while his father washed dishes. He would dance with his grandmother. He would sing duets with his grandfather. His sister would accompany on piano. In his youth, Goldhaber thought that all families behaved that way. I know mine didn’t. In fact, I personally don’t know of anyone else’s family who would regularly sing before dinner, or dance after dinner, or challenge one another to learn songs of personal meaning to one or another family member. I’ve heard of families whose bonds were achieved by the making of music, like the Pizzarellis. But then, I’ve heard of families who established bonds by playing board games or by farming too. The point is that singing was an important part of Marcus Goldhaber’s life since early childhood. He has carried that fondness his possession by music into his first recording, The Moment After.

After some activity as an actor in off-Broadway productions and on shows like Guiding Light, Goldhaber once again was drawn to singing as if magnetized by its force once again. And so he sang. All over New York. In clubs. In outdoor concerts. In hotels. The result of his refocusing on singing was the setting up of his own label, Fallen Apple Records, and naturally The Moment After is his first release.

Fortunately, Goldhaber has assembled a back-up trio, crisp and succinct, that nudges him along as he sings, normally without breaking much of a sweat, as if exhalation were the major component of singing. Even though Goldhaber often had listened to Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett for inspiration, a more apt comparison of his would be to Chet Baker’s romantic, inviting, unrushed and sincere vocalizing. Normally, Goldhaber’s feathery delivery of lyrics straightforward without very much embellishment and all that jazz contrasts effectively with pianist Jon Davis’ imaginative improvisation during his solos or his prodding sense of accompaniment. "Walking My Baby Back Home," strolling along with Goldhaber’s awed but subdued description of post-date appreciation (though dated by references to "talcum" on a "vest"), notches up a few degrees of temperature.... and interest.... when Davis launches from a leisurely sonic walk in the park to a dizzying whirl of sixteenth-noted breeziness after the bridge. The same thing happens on the first track, "Honeysuckle Rose," when the hushed, ruminative considerations of Rose during the verse evolve from vocal description to bluesiness when Davis comes in.

However, Goldhaber is most effective on the ballads like "That Old Feeling," though his metrically elastic introduction to "Lulu’s Back in Town" as he is paced by bassist Paul Gabrielson works exceedingly well. The samba feel of "Old Cape Cod" animates the song beyond its usual languid tempo, while it benefits Goldhaber’s no-nonsense and breathy adherence to lyrics, though they’re sweetened and precisely articulated. The still slower ballads like "Be Careful, It’s My Heart," which is all about valentines and sweethearts and lover’s notes and such, benefits Goldhaber’s strengths, though, as he treads the singer’s line between Chet Baker and John Pizzarelli. As for Davis, he is left to comp and sprinkle treble-clef arpeggios in Goldhaber’s path during his singing-the-melody-and-only-the-melody unvarying course of the song. "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams" is equally wispy and thoughtful in a largo kind of way, at least at first before the bass and drums come in. One can imagine an audience hanging onto each word as it floats through the air as if steam were released from low-p.s.i. containment at differing pitches.

Marcus Goldhaber romantic, sentimentalist, family man, nice guy, virtually a lifetime singer at the advanced age of 28 finally has recorded the music that has been a part of his life for a long time. With understatement and natural appeal, Goldhaber has established his niche of the low-key balladeer who draws in listeners, in spite of themselves, just by the susurration of his croon.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marcus Goldhaber
  • CD Title: The Moment After
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Fallen Apple Records
  • Tracks: Honeysuckle Rose, Like Someone in Love, Walking My Baby Back Home, Be Careful It’s My Heart, That Old Feeling, Keepin’ out of Mischief Now, Old Cape Cod, The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else, I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, You’re Gonna Hear from Me, Lulu’s Back in Town, Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams
  • Musicians: Marcus Goldhaber (vocals), Jon Davis (piano), Paul Gabrielson (bass), Kyle Struve, Will Terrill (drums).
  • Rating: Two Stars
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