To Have Loved, and lost than never to have loved at all" is
how the old saying goes. And though it's sometimes difficult to keep hold
of that belief when the loss is happening, hindsight usually lends credence
to the adage. But memories can be painful and bitter as well, as Ida Zecco
reveals in an achingly raw take on Janis Ian's classic At Seventeen.
The original title song by Carroll Coates is a gorgeous instant classic,
Zecco's rendering of Meredith Willson's seldom heard Love, Come Take
Me Again (cut from "Here's Love") wonderfully revives this
lost gem, and Duncan Lamont's tale of love found and lost in Manhattan
in the Rain allows Zecco to become a tender storyteller. Beginning
with trying to figure out how to move on Once You've Been In Love
and sorting through memories of childhood, romance and loss, Zecco finally
arrives at the understanding and belief expressed in the title song. Both
she and we are enriched by the voyage of discovery she's taken.
"Holly Days" - Valerie Sneade and Ida Zecco, Music Directed
and Arranged by Jim Rice
KAMP, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI
of "Better to Have Loved" and "A Song for Christmas"):
Ida Zecco started out in Rhode Island -- she's a graduate of West Warwick
High School and studied theater with Adrian Hall -- but she's ranged far
and wide, bringing a voice classically trained in Boston and Salzburg
to popular music. The result is elegant, rich in ability to handle a lyric.
Janis Ian's ugly-duckling lament "At Seventeen" is such a personal
statement that it's dangerous for another singer to attempt, but Zecco
masters it with knowing sadness; she invites comparisons with Piaf on"
Mon Amant de Saint-Jean" and holds her own, no small feat.
Kamp show is a holiday gig, and Zecco has a Christmas repertoire, too.
She reminds a listener of Rosemary Clooney on "All Those Christmas
Cliches," has a twinkle in her eye on "Santa Baby" and
is heartfelt on Hoagy Carmichael's "My Christmas Song for You."
If you're a fan of intelligent, beautiful singing, this show is for you.
Rosenberg, Feature Editor
"BEST BETS" 12/12/2002
stranger to New England audiences, Zecco, who has performed at both
Worcester Foothills Theater and Worcester Forum Theatre, delivers an
inspiring performance that captured the very essence and meaning of
"cabaret." Weaving in theatrical monologues, narratives and
comedy routines, Zecco segued seamlessly through her song repertoire.
is clearly a trained performer. The Rhode Island native knows how
to sing, and she's in touch with both her technical and emotional range.
She is also a seasoned performer who paces her performances just right.
With her moving deftly from light-hearted romps to heart-aching and
meditative ballads, the hour-long show flew by as quickly as a set
singing voice can be a low and smoky alto or a high reaching
mezzo soprano. She can be as sassy and brassy as Kate Smith or as
smooth and silky as Lena Horne.
Williamson, Music Critic
yourself for 14 songs of superior quality, which fit the amazing
robust voice of Ida perfectly. This recital contains many unknown
selections making it a welcome surprise. The song "Once Upon A Time"
(Strouse/Adams) receives a tremendous intense treatment just fitting for
this uncommon song. Then there's "Too Long At The Fair" (Barnes)
happens to scare off most wise singers because it just actually is one
of the most difficult songs to sing. Ida settles in most comfortably
indeed without any problems at all. England's Duncan Lamont has written
an accomplished song in "Manhattan In The Rain." This is its
debut recording and looks to become a much-performed song in the future.
With such complex material Ida shines fearlessly. In this, her second
CD, she simply has me waiting for her very next release.
To Have Loved" SongKeeper Label
Dan Singer, Music Critic
In Tune International Magazine
November 2002, Volume 129
to myself, I must have been quite a good elf in the past
twelve months, because this year's batch of jingle Jazz contains nary
lump of coal. By and large these offerings avoid the major pitfalls of
holiday music--overproduction, sanctimony and aural tinsel. Some offer
more interesting twists that freshen up those old Yule songs.
Ida Zecco takes a risky approach. She eschews the most
familiar material altogether. Few of these songs appear on the other
discs reviewed here (and given several tunes show up on the majority of
these discs, that saying something). Instead, she builds her session
around seldom heard material like Cahn and Van Heusen's "The Secret
Christmas" and Hoagy Carmichael's "My Christmas Song for You."
Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty's "All those Christmas Cliches"
plays on the
hoariness of images celebrating the season of plenty. Zecco here and
elsewhere gives heartfelt performances that dramatize the songs without
resorting to melodramatics. While these songs are the heart of the
session, she covers a range of material. She adds a sweetness to "Santa
Baby, another Jazz pop, and "Baby It's Cold Outside," two of
familiar tunes here. That sweetness is given full play in her rending
of the traditional Italian carol "Bel Bambino."
Dupont, Music Critic
Cadence, December 2000
is something about songs that were written in the space where big
band music was waning and rock and roll infiltration had not yet
occurred. It was a time of World Wars and the fragile peace between
them, when life in America possessed a wholesome innocence.
was a time of thoughtful, emotion invoking music - designed to swoon
the girls and add a special dimension to the new phenomenon of the
musical motion picture.
songs not written to just be sung, but to be lovingly crooned in
harmony with one's dreams. They touched the soul and ignited passions.
And all too quickly in the ever-changing musical landscape, they became
memories or were lost in historical archives.
there are true artists out there that are still born to discover and
present these lovely tunes in Cabaret style performances, and I can
think of few better than Ida Zecco.
to Ida's new release, Better To Have Loved, I can close my
eyes and feel I am seated in a darkened theater, barely breathing for
fear of missing a single note. I am enthralled by the clarity and lilt
of her voice and the sweet honesty of the lyrics, written in a simpler
time, before the shattering of American innocence.
possesses a voice for the ages, and utilizes her gift to present
thoughtful, carefully chosen pieces of music from some of the best
composers of the last century. A talented songstress, backed by full
orchestration, Ida carries the mood of each piece effortlessly. We
travel through a world of love in all its forms - gained, lost, dreamed
journey through the songbook takes us through some of the most
beautiful lyrics ever written - in English, French and Spanish. Ida
sings each song with articulate splendor, smoothly moving through
octaves and emotions.
most will find something familiar in this recording, Ida
deliberately searches for songs that are not often (if at all anymore)
enjoy researching, finding and performing lesser known works simply
to increase my own repertoir and present to my audiences works that are
beautiful, exciting, and inspirational," states Zecco.
this recording, Ida has selected songs that are timeless, beautiful
and her personal choices for this collection. They encompass all the raw
emotion one could wish for, ranging from the longing of romance in "Once
You've Been In Love" to a fresh cover of Janis Ian's, "At Seventeen."
my some of the best traditional musicians in New England, such as
trumpeter and album arranger Dick Lowell, Ida creates a 14 track magical
journey, perfect for a relaxing afternoon or evening by the fireplace.
addition to her Cabaret performance, Ida is also an accomplished
theater and television actress, performing in a number of musicals,
plays, and shows. She has created and performs a one-woman mixed
presentation. She has frequently been seen in venues such as Carnegie
Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The Charles Playhouse, and other prestigious
houses. Locally, you will find her performing with theater companies
around Worcester (MA) and rooms like the Scullers Jazz Club and the
Regattabar. She has performed in music festivals all over the world.
Actors Equity Associate, Ida also directs and teaches, as well as
performs. She is available for performances - solo, in duo or trio
combinations - for all types of events, as well as directing, voice
overs and coaching/classes. Please visit her web site for more
information and a schedule of Ida's upcoming performances,
Travers, Music Critic
New England Entertainment Digest (NEED)