This is the official release date for By Myself, Meredith d’Ambrosio’s new CD of songs by Arthur Schwartz, which has been a long time coming. She accompanies herself at the piano and does so beautifully. Full disclosure: I wrote the notes for the album and will abstain from reviewing it except to say that the more I listened to it as I prepared to write, the more deeply it affected me. Here is a bit of the liner essay.
Through her interpretive artistry, Meredith uses the songs to tell a story that will touch any listener who has had been in love, yearned for love or lost love. She described the choice, preparation and performance of the album as “like magic, a spiritual thing.” Her husband, the pianist Eddie Higgins, died in 2009. Meredith and his friends called him by his given name, Haydn. When she recorded, he was a presence.
“I started with ‘By Myself,’” she said, “because after Haydn was gone, that’s exactly what happened to me. And I closed with “Haunted Heart” because he loved that song. He played it often. It’s what he chose to call one of his albums. That song made me cry.”
On his JazzWax blog, Marc Myers has just posted a fascinating two-part interview with Meredith, complete with photographs from several periods of her career, video and audio clips, and some of her paintings, including the album cover you see above. Inside the CD package is her painting of Gypsy, the dog that has come to play a big part in her new life.
If you follow the link in the first paragraph to the Amazon.com page about the CD, you will see that Amazon posts an alleged customer review by someone who calls himself “Lamont Cranston.” The name is taken from the old radio show The Shadow. The “review” is not a review. It has nothing to do with the music or Ms. d’Ambrosio except as an excuse to launch from the shadows a vicious attack on Arthur Schwartz’s son Jonathan, a New York radio personality. Amazon should be ashamed to publish this anonymous obscenity, should withdraw it at once and should tighten its vetting procedures.