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Tanner/Bilides/Durbin/McMillan/Peters/Sagorin/Scarlata-Rowe | Magnum Opuss!: Cabaret Songs by B. Iris Tanner

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Easy Listening: Cabaret Easy Listening: Adult contemporary Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Magnum Opuss!: Cabaret Songs by B. Iris Tanner

by Tanner/Bilides/Durbin/McMillan/Peters/Sagorin/Scarlata-Rowe

Original cabaret songs with witty, quirky lyrics and memorable tunes. Songs about love, loss, and taking a chance on love again; also about animals, abuse, reincarnation, recovery, and the connections that help keep us all going.
Genre: Easy Listening: Cabaret
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Pets are Better
Sophia Bilides
3:29 $0.99
2. My Lover, the Car
Mary Scarlata-Rowe
3:39 $0.99
3. Nevertheless
Will McMillan
3:45 $0.99
4. Maybe I Can Dance
Jan Peters
3:31 $0.99
5. Bundle Me Off to the Bin
B. Iris Tanner
2:37 $0.99
6. Indian Summer
Jon-Daniel Durbin
4:53 $0.99
7. I Remember You
Jinny Sagorin
3:52 $0.99
8. Warning Labels
Mary Scarlata-Rowe
3:18 $0.99
9. It's Only You
B. Iris Tanner
3:48 $0.99
10. No One, Ever
Jinny Sagorin
3:38 $0.99
11. About Her
Jon-Daniel Durbin
2:51 $0.99
12. In My Next Life
B. Iris Tanner
4:08 $0.99
13. The Only Way Out
Sophia Bilides
4:31 $0.99
14. The Trouble with Men
B. Iris Tanner
5:06 $0.99
15. Connections
B. Iris Tanner
3:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In the tradition of John Bucchino's "Grateful," "Magnum Opuss" is a compilation of 15 original cabaret songs by Boston-based singer-songwriter B. Iris Tanner. The studio recordings feature 6 prominent cabaret singers from the New England area - Sophia Bilides, Jon-Daniel Durbin, Will McMillan, Jan Peters, Jinny Sagorin and Mary Scarlata-Rowe - as well as several songs performed by Iris herself. The songs encompass an extraordinary variety of moods and subject matter, ranging from the adorably silly "Pets are Better" and "My Lover the Car" (which focuses on the connection between cars and sex) to the outrageous humor of "The Trouble with Men" and "Warning Labels" (which men should really come with), to the quietly inspirational tone of "The Only Way Out" and "Connections." And of course, there are a number of songs about taking a chance on love, several with surprising twists. Musical theater aficionados should appreciate the bouncy tunes and clever lyrics; fans of cabaret and easy-listening music should be charmed by the quality and drama of each rendition.

The CD's title is a play on the concept of a "magnum opus," meaning the chief work of a writer or artist, and the fact that Iris is also a licensed cat show judge who bred and exhibited the rare and beautiful Turkish Angora cats. Which may explain why the cover photo shows one of her cats posing with a magnum of champagne. A portion of the proceeds from CD sales is being donated to the Winn Feline Foundation to fund research into a genetic disorder that has recently shown up in this rare breed.

Iris's musical background encompasses many years of childhood piano lessons, accompanying experience for high school and college musicals, eight years of flute lessons, seven years of classical voice lessons and several solo concerts in her former incarnation as a lyric soprano. However, it includes no songwriting training whatsoever. This has not held her back in the slightest. Her songs have been performed at the 2002 Boston Cabaret Festival at Scullers, TCAN (The Center for the Arts in Natick), Blacksmith House at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education and Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway Theater. Her song "Warning Labels" was selected for inclusion in the Boston Sings Boston III revue performed by Centastage at Club Café in fall 2003. She is a member of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists and ASCAP.

Other artists on the CD include:

Sophia Bilides, who received the 2005 IRNE Award for Best Female Cabaret Performer (Independent Reviewers of New England) for her show "Young And Foolish / Are You Having Any Fun?," and was named one of Bay Windows' Top Ten Cabaret Performers of 2004.

Jon-Daniel Durbin, a veteran musical theater performer who has appeared in numerous leading musical roles, among them Frederik in "A Little Night Music" and the title role of "Sweeney Todd", both at the Publick Theatre of Boston. Other notable starring roles include Harold Hill in "The Music Man," Michael in "I Do! I Do!" and The Beast in "Beauty and the Beast" at Washington's Kennedy Center.

Will McMillan, a singer, songwriter and producer who hosted "Will & Company," a concert series highlighing Boston-area singers and songwriters. It earned him a 2002 IRNE for Best Cabaret Show in a Small Venue. He performs with singer Bobbi Carrey in shows on Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Broadway, and Hollywood.

Jan Peters, 2003 IRNE Award Winner (Best Female Cabaret Artist) and Bay Windows Newspaper "Best Cabaret Performer Of The Year 2002." Jan is a Eugene O'Neill Cabaret Symposium Fellow whose work draws from an extensive repertoire of Broadway and standard material.

Musical theatre and cabaret performer Jinny Sagorin, who made her debut at Scullers Jazz Club in February 2005 with a sold-out performance of her show, "It's For You," which launched her first solo CD to critical acclaim. She was one of 36 performers selected from nation-wide auditions to attend the prestigious Cabaret Conference at Yale University in 2003.

Mary Scarlata-Rowe, cabaret performer, actress and founder of the Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA), an organization that supports the art of cabaret throughout New England. She has performed her own cabaret shows around the Boston area, teaches children's drama classes and has recorded an album of inspirational music called "Shepherd of My Heart."

Most musical arrangements and much of the piano accompaniment - not to mention ALL of the recording/mixing/engineering - was done by Doug Hammer at his Dreamworld Studios. Pianist Jim Rice arranged and played one song for Jan Peters and Joe Della Penna arranged and played 4 songs for Iris and Jon-Daniel Durbin.



to write a review


Great lyrics, wonderful intrpretations
This music has great lyrics and wonderful interpretations. A must own CD. My co-workers, friends and I are eagerly awaiting the next edition!


Great CD. Fabulous voices. Love the cover.
Absolutely wonderful songs. There's never a dull moment when listening to this CD.
I just loved it.

Sandi Lewis

Great! All should be doing this FULL time!
I love the music, but you just have to really listen to the words! Listening makes me smile, and my co-workers wondering WHAT I am smiling about!

Rick, Brunswick, Georgia

Entertaining, stimulating, inspirational and comforting.
B. Iris Tanner’s brilliant and witty lyrics are worthy of a quality Broadway production. The songs are entertaining and catchy, with timeless messages about life and love. These songs and many others that are not published, are worthy of historical note. The intricate melodies and complex lyrics provide great substance to the musical and intellectual foundation of her work. The messages can provide insight into many aspects of the human condition. Anyone that has been in love should listen to the work of B. Iris Tanner.


Worth owning
Excellent collection. 'Warning Labels' is clever enough to have been written by Tom Lehrer. (Note, this is the highest praise I can give.) 'No One, Ever' is elegiacally beautiful, enough to bring a middle-class middle-aged straight man to tears.

Iris M. Gross

Well-chosen interpretations of great work.
First of all, to comment on the album without mentioning its artist is ridiculous, especially since I had never heard her material before. It should be well within reason to say that Iris is a FABULOUS writer. She's got top-drawer stuff that should be in Broadway musicals right now.

As far as the disc overall, I had some issues with production. It was hard to know, without having the engineer's hat on myself, where they were going with this. For instance, on "Indian Summer", about the 1:27 mark or so, I did sense something may have gotten spliced there. It's like Jon-Daniel Durbin's voice wasn't as strong as it could have been there so they covered it up with a piano fill. And on "About Her", I think they boosted the treble here, because his voice is very much "on top" here. On "Warning Label" it's like they boosted the treble to accentuate Mary Scarlata’s voice. Jinny Sagorin’s "I Remember You" really touches me, speaks to me. It reminds me of something I've heard before, and the words are powerful. Delivery is top-notch; she reminds me of a young Pet Clark. But I just wish that electric piano wasn't in it. It sounds very "eighties" because of it. It could be that adjusting the equalizer on the iTunes or stereo can fix any such quibbles.

The cat songs are a hoot. The cat gets full stereo channeling, which cracks me up. Well, it's his face on the cover, after all! I really would have liked to have heard more of Will, though. It would have lightened the contribution from the guys considerably.

Also, I was kind of left wondering why the jumpier songs weren't grouped by themselves. It almost needed an LP treatment, with a Side A and Side B, and put the cat songs and "My Lover the Car", "Bundle Me Off to the Bin", "It's Only You", "The Trouble With Men", and "Nevertheless" on one side, then put the torch songs, the dark songs, and the introspective songs on the other. That's a producer's decision that's hard to reconcile with the current medium, I suppose.

The two pianists are top-notch. All the singers should have felt as if they were playing with Jimmy Webb. The piano work on Sophia Bilides’ "The Only Way Out" is gorgeous, gorgeous.

Overall, it's not a bad album, I think. I'm not familiar with B.Iris Tanner's work as a whole, but a friend of mine, who is a guest artist, sent me a copy, and now I have a really good sense of where her head is at. I think she has for the most part well-chosen the people to interpret her wonderful writing.

David H. Cohen, San Diego, CA

More Effective than Effexsor
A perfect compilation of tunes about imperfect love, a musical war of the roses, and an ode to hope eternal. Tanner and her sextet of featured singers warmly wrap their velvety vocal chords around her taut, tart and never tawdry lyrics which are certain to linger in your memory. I even found myself humming Indian Summer at the local food co-op! An hour with Iris will leave you mellow and content as a kitty. Or should I say, a dose of Tanner is more effective than Effexsor.


A Broadway show waiting for the book.
Totally enjoyed listening to this CD. The songs are witty, melodic and nuanced. In my opinion, this is a Broadway show waiting for the book to be written.


Buckle your seat belt and get ready for the most clever lyrics you have heard in a long while! Iris has scribed a full range of tunes that make you laugh, make you think, and make you wish you were a cat in THIS life.