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Reviews

"Your concert haunts me. It was, quite simply, the best musical experience one could hope to share. We were amused, tearful, transfixed and ultimately transprorted by such grace, wit and wondrous sounds. What a beautiful evening. I can't imagine Sheldon (Harnick) and I receiving a more valuable gift than for you to perform our songs....thank you for being one of the main reasons why writers write." — Jerry Bock, Song Writer 

 "Bolcom and Morris may be the best thing to happen to American popular song since the invention of sheet music." — The Chicago Sun-Times

"The pair were in top form as usual. Ms. Morris was as compelling an actress as she was a singer. As ever, Mr. Bolcom was far more [than] simply her accompanist; he was host, top banana and a sort of pianistic Greek chorus. Together they brought smiles to a summer night." — The Dallas Morning News

"Yes, she has that wonderful voice, clear as water; she has the diction that is as immaculate as it is pointed — but what makes her singing work is the way the clear stream of her voice throws back reflections of every gradation of human feeling; she comes at a song from within and thereby proves its worth. Bolcom's ingenuity in creating rhythmically lively and harmonically rich accompaniment seems to be limitless." —The Boston Globe

"Together the couple is, to borrow the title of an early Bolcom opera, 'dynamite tonight.' His brilliantly propulsive, imaginative embellished pianism provides her with a strong rhythmic framework that curbs the descents into self-pity afflicting the average chanteuse. And Morris plumbs every number for its specific emotional content." — The San Francisco Examiner

"Bolcom and Morris are astonishingly versatile. The dozen or so songs they performed are ranged from the sublime to the fascinatingly ridiculous. The duo are musical enough to make true poetry out of the great songs of the American tradition. Sometimes blithely romantic, scathingly sassy or brazenly sentimental, the duo traversed Broadway, vaudeville and music hall, from ragtime to mid-century." — The Milwaukee Journal

"Mr. Bolcom's probably the best ragtime/show pianist alive. Ms. Morris is the best singer of cabaret songs I have ever heard, and her diction should be the despair of every singer who breathes. Frank Sinatra used to say he learned phrasing from listening to recordings by Mabel Mercer, but that's probably because Ms. Morris was not around during Sinatra's formative years. Today, there's simply no one to equal her." — The Post and Courier

"The husband-and-wife team of William Bolcom and Joan Morris presented a program of popular songs from the 1920s and '30's, most by George and Ira Gershwin. It is not possible to believe that anyone could do them better. Her voice is notable for ease, flexibility, expressiveness; you understand every word she sings, and in these songs the words deserve to be heard. She projects not just a song, but the character singing it, and gives that character her own irresistibly funny and winning personality. As a jazz pianist, Bolcom can do anything he likes at the keyboard and make it sound inevitable. His accompaniments are so geared to Morris' every inflection that you forget they're there." — The Chicago Tribune

A Review in Verse

It was amazing.

As you sang your face changed

and years just dropped away.

When you walked

on stage you were    

the age you are,

the age we all are.

Then as you gave us

each classic song,

your voice so agile,

so clear, so strong,

your youth percolated
    
steadily back in.

If the program

hadn't ended

when it did

you might have

exited a teenager

or even toddled

out as a kid.

Michael B. Frank, February 28, 2005