- CHARITY BENEFIT
Reviewed by: Joe Regan Jr.
Singer songwriter Marci Geller, who has sung on “Live with Regis,” “Good Day NY,” and “The Fox Morning Show,” was flown to Switzerland in August of 2011 as a “gift to the bride” and performed one of her original songs with world renowned Parisian classical cellist Jean-Philippe Martignoni. When she learned that Martignoni would be performing with his quartet Quatuor Paris II at Lincoln Center as part of their Sunday Morning Coffee Concerts at 11 a.m. on March 18th, she decided it was time to recapture their musical chemistry by performing their first U.S. concert in New York City that afternoon at the Metropolitan Room. They were to be joined by percussionist Marshal Rosenberg who tours with Tom Rush, Aztec Two Step, and Buskin and Batteau. Unfortunately, it was a beautiful spring day outside at 3 p.m. and there was a very small crowd of friends to hear Ms. Geller’s extraordinary songwriting talent and this performance.
Most of Ms. Geller’s songs are about women wronged by men and it’s a shame that there weren’t current cabaret women singers in the audience to hear her gems. The lyrics were consistently literate and yet forceful and strong, her singing voice has a wonderful range which was complemented by Martignoni’s magnificent cello playing and Rosenberg’s versatile and selective use of percussion and drums. Her first song was “Not That Girl Anymore” which was about a man who dumped her and suddenly came back into her life but she can’t be his savior any more, she’s grown beyond that and is “not that girl anymore.” The sad second song was about a mother who was awakened one morning and her children had all moved out and confronted with her empty nest and was appropriately titled “Day Without the Kids.” “Awakened Mind” was about her thoughts after visiting one of New York’s great museums and the impact those great artists displayed had on her psyche. “Driving in Manhattan” was about getting caught in a traffic jam and being unable to get the man who has left her out of her brain. “Promets-Moi,” sung with the guitar, was the wonderful song she wrote for the wedding, and it was stunningly sung in French with the great artistry of Martignoni’s cello. Her French was flawless and you understood every French phrase about the kind of love she wished the wedding couple would have all their lives.
A tall man met Geller after she sang one of her original songs at the funeral of one of her mentors. The man took her hands and told her in order to honor their friend she must write a new song every day. The next day she woke up and wrote “Tom McCarthy,” about this man and the respect and kindness he showed her by ordering her to write to remember their friend. It was a clear and beautiful universal message song.
“Won’t You Stay?” was the morning after a one night stand with the man or the woman pleading with the partner to stay and she would make him a wonderful breakfast…and maybe stay in her life, describing how beautiful he looked sleeping beside her. “Back Around” told the story of an encounter with an ex-lover out of the blue and not wanting to begin again because “it all comes back around” and it’s his turn to suffer.
The final number was the most optimistic of the set. “Thank You” is a song about how grateful she is each day that she has survived all her heartaches and is still able to take pleasure in life, in music and in art.
It was a wonderful afternoon and singers should look up her CDs and her performances on YouTube to enrich their repertoire. There is a CD planned with Martignoni and it will be a must-have.