La Vie a La Mediterranee Restaurant

Ernesto Morel, the perspicacious and charming host/owner of La Mediterranee Restaurant (947 Second Avenue between East 50 and 51 Streets) has wisely upped business in this very pleasant French bistro by adding more live music. For over twenty years, he has had the accomplished piano soloist Harold Don (who at one time was accompanist to Edith Piaf) play dinner music nightly until 10 PM. Mid-summer of last year, Ernesto added the songs and piano of popular Chris Barrett in a later time slot (10 PM-1 AM), proving that New York City can still be a late-evening town if there is an attraction to bring people in. Chris is now back home in Florida, performing weekends at the Magnum Lounge in North Miami, but he promises to return to New York and “La Med” in the late spring.

Ernesto has meanwhile brought in other talented musicians: “Dr. Joe” Utterbach, Lenny Dell, Steve Bocchino and Charlie Sleeth, to play for the stay-up-late crowd, keeping them warm, well-fed and entertained on these cold winter nights.

In December Ernesto created a musical Sunday afternoon from 1 PM to 4 PM, featuring a most inviting a la carte Sunday brunch menu, plus stand-up singer Scot Albertson and singer/pianist/ seven-time MAC Award winner Jerry Scott and lots of drop-in singers for Scot to introduce and bring up to the microphone and for Jerry to accompany. You never know just whom you’ll hear. It’s a mixed bag. Frequently you’ll be lucky and East 50s neighborhood favorite Helen Klass will put in an appearance and share her talent. Another regular is funnyman Richard Cramer who is always good for a couple of hilarious songs.

Scot Albertson recently released his fourth CD, "With Every Note, A Step...", with Daryl Kojak and a great group of musicians, plus Jerry as guest pianist on three tracks. With his mellifluous voice and range for days, Albertson is a great interpreter of the American popular song. It seems to be his mission to discover songs from way before his time, beautiful ballads from the 30s and 40s that deserve to be heard today. Often he arranges songs in medleys--- for instance, Noel coward’s “Sail Away’ with “No Other Love” by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Scot and Jerry and their audiences have fun with forgotten comedic songs of the earlier decades, groaners like “Pass the Biscuits, Mirandy” or “Save the Bones for Henry Jones.” They also find and excel at good songs by today’s writers. Last Sunday, they warmed my heart with a great take on Franklin Underwood’s ballad, “Be Warmer This Winter.” The Sunday brunch sets have become so successful that Ernesto has now booked Albertson and Scott to also do the Wednesday late evening gig.

I suggest you plan to check out this venue by popping in any evening for the late entertainment or reserve earlier for dinner and stay on. Brunch reservations are a must. Between the beautifully prepared and served gustatory menu, a well-chosen wine list and the eclectic music menu, you are sure to be pleased and will want to come back. And as for drinks at the well-stocked bar, you can enjoy favorite bartender/singer Todd Martin, known by one and all as “Hot Toddy.”

La Mediterranee is at 947 Second Avenue between East 51 and East 52 Streets; the phone number is 212-755-4155.

  — Jan Wallman - www.CabaretExchange.com   January, 2009

As part of his monthly performances at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, Scot Albertson celebrated the release of With Every Note, A Step..., his fourth CD in five years, at his annual pre-New Year’s show on December 30th. Albertson always gathers top jazz musicians for his acts and this evening featured his music director, Daryl Kojak, on piano, Cameron Brown on bass, "Sweet" Sue Terry on alto sax and flute, Tony Jefferson on drums, and Dave Pietro on alto and tenor saxes and flute. Most of the songs in the act are featured in the new CD.

Albertson, who has a strong romantic baritone, erupted on stage with a briskly bouncy "Love Is Waiting" (Al Jarreau-Tom Canning & Jay Graydon) which led into a melodic "On a Clear Day" (Lerner-B. Lane). Without a narrative break, Albertson, with only Kojak’s piano accompaniment, sang only the bridge to "The Song Is You" (Kern-Hammerstein II) before bursting into Bobby Darin’s "As Long As I’m Singing" with the big jazz band sound. Both of these selections are on the new CD. Albertson then stated what he believes are the most important things in life: "Love, faith, trust and an open heart."

Albertson projected his romantic leading man image when he crooned a song not on the new CD, "I’m Incurably Romantic" (Cahn-Van Heusen) from the film Let’s Make Love. It was followed by "I Hear Music" (Loesser-Burton Lane).

The evening was Albertson’s sixteenth monthly performance at the Laurie Beechman. Discussing the new cook at Laurie Beechman, he honored her with the country western novelty, "Pass The Biscuits, Mirandy" (Del Porter & Carl Hoefle) with fun flute support from both Terry and Pietro.

An unusual medley in Albertson’s act was the verse to Noel Coward’s "Sail Away," sung a capella, then seamlessly flowing into a delicate "No Other Love" from Me and Juliet (Rodgers & Hammerstein) on which he moderated his voice for a gentler more tender meaning of the lyrics of this beautiful song. It is in the performance of ballads like this that Albertson reminds one of Vaughn Monroe and Dick Haymes. The full band did a great swing arrangement of "Orchids In the Moonlight" (Youmans-Gus Kahn & Edward Eliscu) before Albertson came in strongly on his vocal part and tore the roof off the room.

A new song was the inspirational "I Believe In This Man" by Karen Jacobsen which includes the line "joy is replacing my fear" and:

"I believe in this man
I believe in this love
In the beauty of his spirit
And the strength of his word
I believe in this chance
And I’m willing to take it as far as we can
I believe in this man..."

Albertson crooned this song against Kojak’s superbly simple arrangement and the last line of the song was effectively whispered.

Bringing up Jerry Scott as his special guest, Albertson introduced a "gift" that Scott had given him. It was "Memories of You" (Eubie Blake-Andy Razaf) and Albertson sang it with the rarely sung verse. Scott flawlessly played the familiar melody as if it were a great classical piece, especially during the vocal break, and the harmonic interplay between them made for a thrilling presentation.

As a change of pace, Albertson went back to the country western songbook and rocked with the band on the old chestnut "Put Your Shoes on Lucy" (Hank Fort). Celebrating the New Year, Albertson led the crowd in "Auld Lang Syne" as the audience put on hats and blew their paper horns. This was followed by a beautiful "I’ll Be Seeing You" (Fain-Kahal) which began with only Kojak’s piano, soon joined by Terry and Pietro’s flutes, and subtle rhythm support by Brown on bass and Jefferson on drums. Albertson then sent out his advice for the New Year with "Part of the Plan", a buoyant song by Daniel Fogelberg:

"Love when you can,
Cry when you have to,
Be who you must,,
That’s a part of the plan."

The show wasn’t over. Toasting a newlywed pair, Albertson sang a rare beauty, "Be Warmer This Winter" by Stan Freeman and Franklin Underwood:

"An eager heart can cast a warming glow
So be my all
All through the season
Each lovely reason
My heart will sing.
Be warmer this winter,
Be with me this winter
And make our love forever spring"

The last encore was one of Albertson’s signature songs, "Love Walked In" which gave every member the band great solos. Each new show Albertson does finds him more relaxed and this night he was having a ball with the musicians and the feeling was infectious to everyone. What a wonderful way to end a rather dreary season!

Scot Albertson performs every Wednesday night at La Mediteranée with Jerry Scott, 10 PM - 1 AM and will be appearing at the Kitano in New York on Wednesday, June 17th.

  — Joe Regan, Jr. - Cabaret Scenes   January, 2009

Grateful Recognition to Mr. Fabio Viola - Musica Black   November, 2008

Scot Albertson has been doing a monthly engagement at the Laurie Beechman for more than a year, usually with a band that includes a solid brass section: trumpets, trombones, reeds, bass and percussion, as well as his MAC award winning musical director, Daryl Kojak, at the piano. He just recorded his fourth album which will be released at his December engagement. For his October performance, the substitution of a string section for the brass was a unique experience in New York cabaret. Albertson's repertoire was enhanced excitedly by the background orchestrations and solo riffs by the musicians: Antone Silverman and Cenovia Cummins on violins, Chris Cardona on viola, and for this performance he had Tom Hubbard on bass and Rex Benincasa on percussion.

Albertson opened with a lively "As Long As I'm Singing" (lyrics and music by Bobby Darin) and every following selection was highlighted by the strings. On his familiar ballads: "His Eyes, Her Eyes" (Bergmans-Legrand), "When I Look in Your Eyes (Bricusse), "Sail Away"/ "No Other Love" (Coward/Rodgers & Hammerstein), "Orchids in the Moonlight" (Youmans/Eliscu & Kahn) and, especially, "I'll Be Seeing You" (Sammy Fain-Irving Kahal), the melodies soared with the two violins and one viola and showcased Albertson's wonderfully romantic baritone.

In the middle of the show, Kojak stepped down and Jerry Scott accompanied Albertson on "Music in the Night" (Andrew Lloyd Webber & Don Black). Scott's pianistics played the familiar melody as if it were a Tchaikovsky concerto.

On two novelty numbers, "Pass The Biscuits, Mirandy" and "Put Your Shoes on Lucy," the string section suddenly became country western fiddlers, and Albertson bounced around the stage having a ball.

And on the rare number that was on his third CD, "You Gotta Taste All The Fruit" (Bergmans-Sammy Fain), dropped from the musical Something More and sung by Mae West (of all people) in Myra Breckenridge, the pure pleasure of Albertson's rapid fire delivery of the song was joyously punctuated by his string section!

This was Scot Albertson's most relaxed performance. Musically, he modulated his great vocal instrument and this turned out to be one of the best demonstrations of what a thrilling vocal range he has. Sometimes he sounds like Vaughn Monroe ("Racing in the Moon" is one of his staples) or the great romantic crooners like Russ Columbo. Most of the time, he sounds only like himself, a contemporary singer who can sing anything.

  — Joe Regan, Jr. - Cabaret Scenes   November, 2008

[reviewing February 7, 2008 Performance]... Fate Revealed itself on the Winter evening of February 7th, when I went to the Laurie Beechman Theater at the West Bank Café. This was all By Design, of course, as I took my seat to watch Scot Albertson celebrate the release of this third album of Standards. The room was packed full of Scot’s fans and friends as Albertson knows how to throw a party, and he did not disappoint. The music flowed for a good 90 minutes showcasing eighteen songs— many of which were medleys.

The evening started out with the first tune on his CD, “You Gotta Taste All The Fruit” which showcased Albertson’s strong tenor and swinging band. Accompanying Albertson was his long-time pianist and Musical Director, Daryl Kojak along with a stellar line up of jazz greats which included Cameron Brown on bass, “Sweet’ Sue Terry on alto sax and flute, Dave Pietro on tenor and Tony Jefferson on drums. The band also swung like nobody’s business on the tunes “Love Walked In”, “It All Depends on You” and “Save The Bones For Henry Jones”.

Albertson missed his Broadway calling. He can belt out a tune with a power that can carry to the last row, balcony at Radio City, yet, it is with his ballads that he really shines. His raw sensitivity reveals a performer who is out to deliver the goods straight from the heart. Or maybe it was Fate that delivered the goose bumps on “It’s The Dreamer In Me. ” Still, I think it was between Albertson’s heart and soul exuding from every pore coupled with Daryl Kojak’s lush notes that enveloped and danced around Albertson. “Only Love” was another gorgeous ballad that not only brought tears to my eyes, but also to that of the singer.

One of the highlights of the evening was special guest accompanist Jerry Scott, a well-known face on the Cabaret scene. On “If You Love Me (Really Love Me), ” it was only Albertson and Scott, but you would never have known it as Scott has an entire orchestra that came out of his fingers. “Sweet” Sue Terry’s flute added a sweet touch to a beautiful tune.

Scot Albertson has shown that Fate Revealed by Design, is not only the name of his new CD, but that there is a man behind the curtain and he’s been very busy perfecting those chops. Scot Albertson and Daryl Kojak and band will be back at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Friday, April 4th at 8:00pm. What a great way to spend an evening—a must catch!
  — Jamie Cosnowsky - Jazz Improv Magazine
  April 2008

[reviewing Fate Revealed By Design]... It is logical to assume from Scot Albertson’s annually expanding series of CD’s that fate played a part in his singing career. Well, such a conclusion is hard to avoid. First Albertson exclaimed, I Got a Date with Fate [!], as if fate were agreeing to an appointment so that fate and Albertson could sit down for some lunch and discuss mutual opportunities. That album, the culmination of a lifelong ambition, presented Albertson as a singer with integrity and ambition who followed his own muse. Then, coincidentally— or probably not—in 2006 Albertson released Fate Just Won’t Wait [!], as if he were caught in the headlong onrush of fate’s inexorable progress, scooping up Albertson and other mere mortals in its sweep. Albertson’s good fortune as a singer continued when he became a regular at Danny’s Skylight Cabaret Room, Albertson having to pinch himself to make sure that such dreamed-for circumstances were real. And now, once again, Albertson has released yet another fate-based but revelatory musical testament, as if the previous two CD’s were but a prelude to this one, much anticipated, with the Fate Revealed by Design. Daryl Kojak takes over the roles of pianist, arranger and producer, and fate once again has intervened to facilitate Albertson’s ambition to sing. Now Albertson has released a CD of customized arrangements that showcase the unique qualities of his voice. And what qualities have led to Albertson’s success in establishing a singing career? Albertson says that his casting of his fate to the vagaries of such an initiative results from—or maybe reciprocally—leads to his four guiding principles, of which he makes mention whenever the opportunity arises to do so: faith, love, trust, and an open heart.

These principles are included in this review because they give some insight into Albertson’s choices of songs that reinforce his fate-full theme. At first, the opening song, “You Gotta Taste All the Fruit,” energetic and motivational, seems to be of an out-of-place sybaritic nature that is at odds with his wholesome image: “You gotta drink all the wine / You gotta sow every oat.” But then, the choice of the song does support Albertson’s belief in a “Larger Life Energy,” and the lyrics do command, fairly lustily, that “You gotta sing every song [!]”. The song serves as an entertaining introduction by the back-up group, with the horns punching up the accents and Kojak injecting a moment of humor with his ragtime-like ending, up to its final plink. In addition, Albertson introduces one of his trademarks at the end of “You Gotta Taste All the Fruit”: the sustained high note, on pitch and forcefully impressive. All of this happens within the song’s two minutes. Concision has its benefits. And so, as compelled by the first song’s lyrics, Albertson does sing every song he can within the CD’s 54 minutes. On the second track, Albertson slows—and I mean, slows—into a stately ballad that conforms to the dreaminess of the song’s mood. “It’s the Dreamer in Me,” true to self, involves Albertson’s cushioning of notes, his emotional delivery of lyrics and, as always, his Irish tenor-like feeling that he transmits to his audiences with swelling dynamics and effective use of his wide range. “If You Really Love Me” revives Albertson’s dramatic instincts, as he is backed solely by “Sweet” Sue Terry’s flute and Kojak’s recital-like rubato accompaniment, all in a “Danny Boy”-like upper register interpretation that emphasizes tenderness of the pauses. “If You Really Love Me” contains nary a whit of jazz harmonies or blue notes, but it is a cabaret-inspired show-stopper nonetheless for the romantics within hearing range.

The spirited lead-in of “You Gotta Taste All the Fruit,” it turns out, doesn’t hint at the styles, or even the tempos, to follow. The rest of Fate Revealed by Design consists of theatrically interpreted standards, except for that first track and the rousing “Love Walked In,” which, spliced onto “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” provides an opportunity for the musicians to solo. Splashing chords introduce Rod McKuen’s “A Man Alone,” which is consistent with Albertson’s affinity for dreaming and establishing emotional connection. The medley (a form Albertson and Kojak seem particularly to appreciate) of “A Perfect Love” and “The Nearness of You” applies similar affecting style to both songs. After Albertson and Kojak glide into “The Nearness of You,” reaching narrative heights from the high notes, the culminations of various crescendos, one can imagine him singing in a pub on St. Patrick’s Day, the green beer flowing and the patrons moist-eyed with nostalgia. Sure enough, the perception of the Irish tenor style is accurate; Albertson leaves no doubt about it. He sings “Danny Boy” with all of the verve and tugging at the heart strings that he can muster. But more than “Danny Boy” happens. As is his wont, Albertson sandwiches the song in a medley. “Just a Prayer Away” by Tin Pan Alley composer Charles Tobias precedes “Danny Boy,” which is followed by “Bring Him Home,” Valjean’s prayer from Les Miserables and the audience-pleaser that never fails to impress with its rousing last note. Finally, Albertson and friends end Fate Revealed by Design with probably a promise, and not a farewell, by means of the sweetly performed version of “I’ll Be Seeing You” supported by a string quartet and piano and containing a final memorable sustained high note. Who knows what fate may bring tomorrow? So far, fate has been kind to Scot Albertson by fulfilling his aspirations, and Albertson has given much appreciation for fate’s beneficence in return.
  — Bill Donaldson - Jazz Improv Magazine
  March 2008

In his third and best CD, Scot Albertson continues mostly swimming in the deep end of the romantic pool of great songs, but not drowning. He keeps his noble head high and floats easily on waves of exposed emotion, not afraid to dive into material whose very ardent tone would sink other singers. He does so “with sentimental ease,” to quote a phrase from the included “A Man Alone” by Rod McKuen. On this and one other number, he is accompanied superbly and dramatically by Jerry Scott and shows particularly thoughtful phrasing. Other selections reunite him with his regular—and talented—musical director/ pianist Daryl Kojak, with 11 musicians in all heard on the CD.

Fate Revealed by Design reveals a singer a bit more involved and at ease... He can be stalwart or gamely brash, yet a certain formality remains... Scot’s strong suit seems to be playing the ultra-sincere balladeer, and his heart does seem to be in the heartfelt proclamations of affection. When he sings of love that is “Written on the Wind” (whose lyric says it’s also “written in my heart”) it sounds like that true love is proudly written in truly indelible ink. Repertoire ranges from the very well known (“Put On a Happy Face”) to the rewardingly rescued relative rarity (“Count Every Star”; “It’s the Dreamer in Me”).
  — Rob Lester - Cabaret Scenes   March, 2008

Scot Albertson Shines on his new CD: Fate Revealed by Design

This is Scot's 3rd CD recorded in 4 years, and he has done a fantastic job of finding and interpreting songs from the various decades of The Great American Songbook. Some a lot of you have discovered (How Deep is the Ocean, The Nearness of You, etc.) and some only a few, such as the J. Dorsey/Van Heusen treasure, lt's the Dreamer in Me. I especially liked the energy Scot puts into such standards as It AII Depends on You and Love Walked ln. But he also captures the depth and power of the newer Bring Him Home as well as his other ballads. And I keep going back to Berlin's How Deep is the Ocean: although it's been sung many times, many ways, he still makes it his own. In his liner notes he is very generous in crediting his friends and musicians for their help. Keep up the faith. It's working.

You lucky people, if you live In the New York area, you will be able to see and hear Scot Albertson at the Laurie Beechman Theater at the West Bank Café (Just west of 9th ave on 42nd St.) He'll be there Thurs. Feb. 7th at 7pm, Thurs. March 6th at 9:30pm and Fri. April 4th at 8pm.
  — Jerry Laird - New York Sheet Music Society   February, 2008

Fate Just Won't Wait with an ebullient performer like Scot Albertson on stage, backed by a top-grade band led by talented Daryl Kojak. A tasty list of popular songs reflects Albertson's strong belief in "faith, love, trust, respect and an open heart," and the musical delivery exhibits Albertson's unique effervescent optimism and Kojak and Company's jazz imagination.

At the Laurie Beechman Theater, the mix travels from up-tempo, like a lesser-known Fain/Bergman tune, You Gotta Taste All the Fruit, to the meditative Day Dreams Come True at Night (Freed and Jurgen). The latter tune evinces an old-fashioned mood with old-fashioned sentiment, although Kojak's jazz piano zips it up with a stimulating edge. Albertson croons the verse of WWII classic, A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (Maschwitz and Sherwin) and then snaps into a bouncy swing with the Gershwins', Love Walked In, with jazz riffs all around.

Albertson's patter is judicious but his enthusiasm is palpable. He has a rangy tenor that can stretch with pleasing depth, soar into the heights, and hold the notes easily. . . His real strength is his understanding of what the songwriters wanted to say and convey that to the listener. He is joyful with his swing numbers and heartfelt sentiment infuses the ballads, where Albertson is most effective, inhabiting them with intensity. Dick Haymes' hit song from yesteryear, Count Every Star (Gallop/Coquatrix), paired poignantly with Irving Berlin's How Deep Is the Ocean.

At one point, Albertson switched accompanists, bringing New York piano bar favorite, Jerry Scott, on stage, to back him with lush chords on Racing With the Moon. Here again, Albertson takes a tune made famous by an earlier performer, Vaughan Monroe, and presents it his way.

Ray Jessel's lovably ridiculous ditty, The Things You Do, was lovably comic. Albertson might include other silly songs in future shows, to deliver with similar laid-back wit.

Kojak is responsible for the superb arrangements and his band must be mentioned: Cameron Brown on bass, Tony Jefferson on drums, Scott Wendholt on trumpet and "Sweet" Sue Terry sweet with sax and flute.

Scot Albertson and Daryl Kojak will return to the Laurie Beechman Theater on September 26.


  — Elizabeth Ahlfors - Cabaret Scenes   August, 2007

On August 2nd, 2007, Jazz vocalist Scot Albertson celebrated the success of his second CD, Fate Just Won't Wait, at the Laurie Beechman Theater, downstairs at the West Bank Cafe on 42nd Street. His musical director and pianist, Daryl Kojak, also wrote some of the fine arrangements. The members of the Daryl Kojak Jazz Quintet were: "Sweet" Sue Terry on alto sax, Scott Wendholt on trumpet, Cameron Brown on bass and Tony Jefferson on drums. Additional arrangements were collaborations by Albertson and Broadway musical director Robert Felstein.

The creme-de-la-creme of cabaret society were out in force for Scot's act, which is a huge compliment to his talents. He played a long set, about an hour and a half, which included eight songs from the CD, and six or seven other tunes, while people enjoyed drinks and food in the spacious theatre.

The music was bright and lively, well-arranged, and diverse enough to hold the audience's attention throughout the evening. Trumpeter Wendholt and saxophonist Terry played some nice lines, and added most of the improvised elements to the set.

"Kiss Her Now," by Jerry Herman, was one of the best songs of the show. Dark and mysterious, Kojak's expert piano fills, stretched out underneath Scot's emotional vocals. An interesting note: several of the arrangements were medleys. Scot combined "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square" with "Love Walked In;" "Count Every Star" with "How Deep is the Ocean" (very expressive voice with piano chords keeping a simple beat), and "The Best is Yet to Come" with "From this Moment On," the latter of which had an exciting double-time swing.

On Loesser and Schwartz' "Love Isn't Born (It's Made)," Scot started singing ácapella, then set the tempo for the band to enter. He has an amazingly broad range, great sense of dynamics and a pleasing vibrato.

Another highlight of the set was Coleman/Zippel's "With Every Breath I Take." On this beautiful ballad, Scot showed his control of the music with a strong depth of feeling. Scott Wendholt seized the moment, played a very hip trumpet solo, and left the audience yelling for more.

As a pleasant surprise, Scot Albertson brought up Jerry Scott to accompany him at the piano on Eubie Blake's sentimental song, "Memories of You." The crowd received him with a warm round of applause.

Altogether, I was very impressed with Scot Albertson. He was organized and appreciated the people who helped him to bring about this performance. As an example, he took a few minutes in the middle of the set to light, and then hand out, birthday cakes to at least 5 audience members! Scot will be appearing once again at the same location with pianist Daryl Kojak on September 26, and readers would be wise to put that date in their calendar.
  — Lucy Galliher - Cabaret Exchange   August, 2007

At one time, the music world was filled with what were called crooners, but it’s a style that is harder to come by nowadays. How refreshing it is, then, to listen to Scot Albertson’s debut album, Got A Date With Fate, which was originally released in 2004. Having started out at the age of seven as a boy soprano with the Little Singers of Norwalk, Connecticut, Albertson left music behind when he began his career as a police officer and then, later, as a U.S. border patrol agent. On retirement, Albertson returned to his love of music, no longer that high-voiced kid but now a rich-voiced baritone whose clear, clean approach to a song serves the lyric and melody with both respect and, well, just plain fun.

Bouncing through the lively opener, Put ‘Em In a Box, Tie It With A Ribbon, Albertson and his musicians set the stage for a wonderfully satisfying program that includes a warmly performed Shadow of Your Smile (complete with the seldom-used verse that most singers omit because they don’t realize that it is one of the best song setups ever created), energetic Orange Colored Sky..., tender What Are You Doing the Rest Of Your Life? and I Love You For Sentimental Reasons, and strong Come Rain or Come Shine. There’s nothing revolutionary in Got A Date With Fate, it’s just good, old-fashioned fine musical entertainment.
  — Jeff Rossen - Cabaret Scenes   June, 2007

[reviewing Got A Date With Fate]... Fortunately enough, Scot Albertson tied his late-blooming singing career to the drawing power of Danny’s Skylight Cabaret Room, where he released his first recording, Got a Date with Fate, in 2005. Albertson also was the last performer to appear at Danny’s when it closed on December 30, 2006. His appearance there at Danny’s closing coincided with the release of Albertson’s second album, Fate Just Won’t Wait. Such a short-lived, though mutually beneficial, fated connection.

Previously a police officer in Norwalk, Connecticut and then a border patrol agent, Albertson decided to elevate his singing interests once he was freed from the day-to-day responsibilities of protecting the public from various forms of harm. After studying with Richard Lissemore, Albertson was ready to pursue his ultimate goal: singing to much acclaim in major New York venues. So Albertson sang to much acclaim in major New York venues. The reviews confirmed the appeal of his voice, as did the praise from musicians and audiences. Indeed, Albertson was able to attract major musicians like Danny Gottlieb, Cameron Brown and Scott Wendholt to participate in the recordings and to perform during his nightclub engagements. In addition, Albertson enjoyed the concision, wryness and space allowed by Jon Werking’s smart arrangements, which highlight the strength of Albertson’s tenor.

Indeed, Albertson does approach the songs, some traditional swing compositions and some romantic ballads, with the inherent intensity of an Irish tenor. He goes for the sustained high note at the end of “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life” to demonstrate his broad range and to cap off the song with a memorable, but in the end effortless, stretch that listeners don’t expect. Albertson... allows the piquancy of the lyrics and the captured feeling of the song to carry the performance. Though Albertson doesn’t stray too far from written melody, he conveys the spirit, the joy of singing, even on the recording. On “Almost Like Being in Love,” for example, the voice-and-bass duo sets up the track’s buoyancy as Albertson pushes the beat with unabashed but matured eagerness. But the main chorus of the song doesn’t follow. Rather, an interlude during which the horns supply punch and uplift sets up Albertson’s more relaxed statement of the chorus—which leads to pianist Werking’s own improvisational interlude backed by the same horn arrangement before the fadeout.

“Come Rain or Come Shine” combines Albertson’s fondness for ballads and his sense of swing as guitarist Greg Skaff leads into the easy-going version with a quarter-note shuffle, a perfect lead-in for Albertson’s happy-go-lucky approach. Supporting his verve and irrepressible sense of good-natured optimism, the group continues in the same jaunty sense of stroll until the end’s deceleration framed again by Skaff’s riff , mirroring the beginning. Contrasting with Werking’s swing arrangements are his flowing interpretations of ballads like “My Foolish Heart.” This one seamlessly moves from his poignant piano intro over bassist Mark Egan’s ostinato lines into Albertson’s affecting version, as the upper reaches of the melody keep rising to test his range and his ability to inhabit the lyrics. Scot Albertson is a singer true to his interests and his personality. No one can accuse him of imitation or even of following in another singer’s footsteps. Albertson is creating his own path with the straightforward, to-the-heart male tenor voice that seldom is heard in clubs any more.
  — Bill Donaldson - Jazz Improv Magazine
  April 2007

[reviewing Fate Just Won’t Wait]... What turns a cabaret act into jazz? Swinging arrangements, improvised solos and a great selection of songs, for starters. Scot Albertson has delivered on all three counts in his second CD (following Got a Date With Fate in 2005). The sparkling arrangements are credited to Albertson, his pianist and musical director Daryl Kojak and Broadway music director Robert Felstein. The charts allow plenty of space for solos, mostly by Kojak or Scott Wendholt on trumpet. Though it runs short for a CD (42:53), it is a perfectly paced nightclub set, with the feeling of a live performance. Starting unaccompanied on the verse of a lesser-known Frank Loesser vehicle “Love Isn’t Born (It’s Made)”, Albertson alternates between swing tunes and ballads, reaching an emotional peak on the longest cut, Cy Coleman’s “With Every Breath I Take,” featuring a muted trumpet solo and feel. Then, he wisely follows this magic moment with two tightly-arranged medleys, followed by a final toast to the audience, like an encore, “On My Way to You”.

The unseen stars of this show are the composers of these great songs. Written primarily for Broadway or Hollywood, most of these three-minute stories in song have the musical merit and poetic depth of operatic arias of the 19th century. Yes, there are also some light-weight song choices here, but they pan out surprisingly well. At first, I was suspicious of Vaughn Monroe’s theme song, “Racing with the Moon”, but the chart highlights its clever chord sequence, which should appeal to jazz instrumentalists. A similar ballad, “Everything I Have is Yours”, written by the under- appreciated Harold Adamson and Burton Lane, was made famous by Billy Eckstine. However, I like this softer reading, with less vibrato and spare, piano trio backing. As an added treat, in both of these ancient ballads, we hear the short but seldom-heard verses.

The second half features three medleys, all effectively arranged. The first medley pairs “You and I” (by Leslie Bricusse, for the film Goodbye Mr. Chips) and a gorgeous 1967 Mancini movie theme, “Two for the Road” (words by Bricusse). The next combination, Cy Coleman’s “The Best is Yet to Come” and Cole Porter’s “From This Moment On”, was inspired, as it comes after the album’s high point, featuring Cy Coleman tunes from 30 years apart, in effect saying, “You think that was good? You ain’t heard nothin’ yet.”

The oldest warhorse on the set list is Rodgers & Hart’s 1928 “You Took Advantage of Me”. It’s a hip song, tightly arranged, with rollicking solos by all. Scot let the band have its say here, and they said a lot in their abbreviated time slots. The band even got to call the singer a “sap” in the coda. Isn’t that every band’s secret dream? And the dream of every boy singer who goes on to other careers (police work in this case) is to chase that childhood dream of singing great songs when you’ve traveled enough roads in life that the words and music make deeper sense to you and your audience. That’s what Scot Albertson has done in his very welcome second CD. He shows great range—tender in the tenor’s head voice, in full-throated roar on the swingers, and deep into the baritone’s basement, when needed. This CD was released at Danny’s Skylight Cabaret Room on December 30, 2006. Last year, he performed at the Iridium and the Metropolitan Room in Manhattan. Catch him when you can.
  — Gary Alexander - Jazz Improv Magazine
  March 2007

A companion piece to his debut CD Got a Date with Fate is Scot Albertson's Fate Just Won't Wait with a similar mix of standards, but this time more Broadway and more emotional involvement... [Scot was] nominated in MAC's Jazz Vocalist category and working with jazz musicians on this album which bills him as "Scot Albertson, Jazz Vocalist"... Soaring through a briskly invigorating version of Rodgers and Hart's "You Took Advantage of Me" (one of the album's best tracks), he seems at heart to be a balladeer. But the jazz cloak is starting to fit him pretty well as he's led by experienced jazz guides.

Of the six-man band, only trumpeter Scott Wendholt is a carryover from the group playing with him on his first CD. Daryl Kojak (another nominee in the Musical Director category) is on piano and did the synthesized string arrangements, but with nine of the dozen arrangements are credited to Robert Felstein and Scot. On the fervent side, there's "Kiss Her Now" (the Jerry Herman carpe diem plea from Dear World). But for a more casual wink at romance, there's the swinging "Love Isn't Born (It's Made)." He dedicates it to this year's MAC Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jan Wallman, the grand lady who has run various clubs over the decades. She has taken an interest in his work and recommended this Arthur Schwartz/ Frank Loesser movie song as being "a good fit." (She was right. He sings this one in a way that shows more comfort and confidence. At other times, Scot seems to be a bit tentative, less "at one" with the song, or backing off from a note.)

Three of the tracks show a fondness many cabaret singers share for the love of the medley and finding two songs that seem fated to be partnered. The marriage between "The Best Is Yet to Come" and "From This Moment On" seems natural and Scot is convincingly assertive on this upbeat and driving cut. A refreshing choice is "Summer Was," written by another MAC nominee, John Wallowitch. It is combined with "The Summer Knows," the Michel Legrand theme from the film Summer of '42, which evokes memories of summertime with its Marilyn and Alan Bergman lyrics. Legrand-Bergmans ballads are apparently favorites, another of theirs appearing here ("On My Way to You") and still another ("What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life") on his earlier CD...
  — Rob Lester   April, 2007

Scot Albertson's new recording, "Fate Just Won't Wait" is a total delight, from start to finish.  Scot has a very appealing voice, ranging from sweet and intimate to full-bodied and strong.  He demonstrates a wide range of expression, always in control, always exhibiting a deep understanding of the songs and especially, the lyrics.  So often, cabaret singers do not seem to grasp the lyric; this, Scot does admirably.  I enjoyed listening to this new release...it presents several tunes that are not as widely known as the more familiar ones.  In this, Scot has shown his ability to find material that is well-suited to his delivery, while not neglecting some of the great established standard songs.  Scot is a true exponent of the "Great American Songbook" and this cd is a wonderful presentation of this music.  An excellent group of musicians will be heard backing Mr. Albertson: Daryl Kojak, especially, on piano.  The accompaniment does not only support the singing...these guys really play and participate equally with Scot in the music-making.  So...if you are looking for a great new recording...a tasteful mix of well-known and lesser-known songs, all recorded splendidly, sung by a real artist....this one will fill your bill!!  Piano, bass, percussion, trumpet, sax, flute, as well as Midi arrangements...what more can one ask?
  — Dr. Joe Utterback   January, 2007

"Scot Albertson's new release, "Fate Just Won't Wait", is another great recording from this talented singer. If you liked "Got A Date With Fate", you'll love his latest release."
  — Mark Egan
  January 2007

New York could not be better off December 30th than the final show in Danny’s Skylight Room, not only for 2006 but forever because the showroom is officially closing that night.

Scot Albertson’s "Fate Just Won’t Wait" show celebrates his new CD which is hot off the press. Scot will have with him a great group of musicians: Daryl Kojak, music director and pianist; Cameron Brown on bass, Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax on drums, Rob Scheps on saxophone and flute, and Scott Wendholt on trumpet. Scot possesses a beautiful vocal instrument in the tradition of Dick Haymes and Bob Eberly. With that great band behind him Scot’s voice will soar to the heavens and let’s hope the skylight isn’t blown off by some of his ravishing high notes. With Scot’s great looks and great vocal gifts this show I expect this will be the most romantic evening of the year in cabaret! Scot’s show will be the penultimate (in every sense of the word) night in Danny’s.  If we are forced to say goodbye, what a great way to say good bye to Danny’s.
  — Joe Regan Jr.
  December 2006

Stunningly beautiful.  Scot sounds glorious on this recording and what a joy it was to hear them all live at the CD Release party!  Kudos to Daryl Kojak on his beautiful contributions – as well as to everyone who played a part in this heartfelt recording.
 
  — Laurie Krauz
  January 2007

"Great vocals! Great band! I thoroughly enjoyed this CD, and look forward to many more from such a wonderful talent!
 
  — Alice Frazier
  January 2007

[reviewing Got A Date With Fate]... Mr. Albertson could be a rising talent, perfectly suited to this music... His arrangements and backup are great, sensitive and clever... Mr. Albertson has chosen his genre well. His clear, unaffacted tenor is perfect for interpreting standards like these. I detected almost no flaws in tone or interpretation. This music really does come naturally to him. I was very surprised at the quality of his backup and arrangements. The hyperbole with which he credits his arranger & pianist Jon Werking is actually deserved. Very clever arrangements, many unexpected moments, sensitive work (I'm an arranger, so this matters to me). Similarly, the backup musicians are thoroughly professional. Mr. Albertson, you really lucked out for a first attempt...
  — CDBaby.com
  June 2004

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