This review of Marieann Meringolo's CD entitled "Hold Me Close" was written by Marle Becker and appeared in Volume I, Issue 4 (February, 1998) of Applause! Applause! published by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens.
"Hold Me Close" - Marieann Meringolo
(Golden Chords Records, GCR-1001)
Solid vocals from singer Marieann Meringolo and expert musical support from pianist/arranger Daryl Kojak combine to make "Hold Me Close" one of the more exciting CD's to come out of the cabaret crowd in some time. From beginning to end - from a sizzling Latin-tinged "People Will Say We're In Love" to an inspired and effective "Threads of Time" (written by Kojak and Margaret Emory) - Meringolo's long-awaited debut CD turns out to be a well-balanced showcase for the vibrant cabaret diva.
Among the 13 cuts are a breathtaking "All The Things You Are", an emotional and delicate cover of "Chances Are" (a hold-over from her stunning cabaret tribute to Johnny Mathis a few years back), a bittersweet "My Funny Valentine", and a swinging, jazzy interpretation of "That's All", the latter two with some mighty fine finger work by Mr. Kojak. Buddy Kaye and William Reid's "I'll Close My Eyes" receives one of the most convincing and appreciative performances of this classic you'll ever hear. Meringolo's translation is riveting, her phrasing intimate and thought-provoking; Kojak's contribution, sensitive and engaging, glistens. On this standout, they come together and present a performance that is accomplished and controlled, well-focused, and musically satisfying. All the more reason why "Hold Me Close" is one of the 10 best CD's by a cabaret kid in 1997. If things click for Meringolo, and they should, she just may end up with an awfully nice recording career.