Courtenay Day

COURTENAY DAY LIVE AT DON'T TELL MAMA (Green Street Dance Company 0713; 50:26) introduces a delightful singer (new to me) in a program impressive for the thought behind the selections. How can one not be captivated by someone who chooses Kurt Weill and Ogden Nash's "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" (One Touch of Venus), Reupert Holmes' "The People That You Never Get to Love," Jason Robert Brown's "Stars and Moon" (Songs from a New World; I didn't think I would hear a version better than Audra McDonald's, but now I Have), Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart's "I'll Tell the Man in the Street" (I Married an Angel), and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's "Come Summer." Day combines Stephen Sondheim's "I've Got You to Lean On" (Anyone Can Whistle) with "The Little Things You Do Together" (Company), and "Pretty Women" (Sweeny Todd) with "Every Day a Little Death" (A Little Night Music), giving each a new slant. It's Day's lyric insight that illuminates these songs, as well as Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahren's "Back as Before" (Ragtime) and Elmer Berstein and Carolyn Leigh's "Shakespeare Lied" (How Now Dow Jones). It isn't only that she has a fine voice, but listening to her makes one realize Day has thought about these lyrics. It sounds simple, although too many singers don't have a clue that it matters. It makes Day's album rewarding, one well worth investigating.