“O’s Notes: Billed as a collection of lullabies for everybody, these loving tunes are conversations between mother and child. Suzanne Jamieson Selmo is the mother in this case. She sings to her young daughter Collete and also her son who is still in the belly. No doubt Selmo is proud and satisfied with the joys of motherhood. This peaceful set will appear to many young mothers and other loving souls. We enjoyed “Lullaby” best in a soothing set.”
—D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place
This is definitely one to add to the lullaby shelf. Suzanne Jamieson Selmo, an actor, singer–and not coincidentally, a mom–brings a delicate touch to songs by a well-chosen mix of such artists and composers as George Harrison (“Here Comes the Sun”), the Sherman Brothers (“Stay Awake” from Mary Poppins), Irving Berlin (“Count Your Blessings”), and Richard Rodgers (“Edelweiss”). Never cloying, Selmo shapes each song with a caressing quality that enchants and soothes, inviting repeat playings no matter what the listener’s age. While such lovely tracks as the Lennon/McCartney classic “Good Night,” and “Baby Mine,” the heartstring-tugger from Dumbo by Frank Churchill and Ned Washington, aren’t surprising choices, Michel Legrand’s “This Quiet Room” and the American Songbook standard, “Moonlight in Vermont” are less expected. Both are a snug fit here, however, as is Selmo and John Boswell’s original track, “I’ll Miss You Til the Morning.”
—Lynne Heffley, reviewer for 2015 Parents’ Choice
“Shine” is well-produced, well-performed and is well aware of its intended audience of sleepy little ones. Thirteen songs are represented from some of the world’s beloved songwriters and one lovely original soon to be a classic. Suzanne Jamieson Selmo’s vocals are clear and soothing and are supported by terrific arrangements. There is a consistent flow to the album despite divergent songs from a myriad of sources and intent- kudos to the production team! The subtitle to the album is ‘Lullabies for Everyone’ and that is true because I fell asleep three times while listening… and that’s a good thing!
The album flows well helped by good arrangement and smooth and soothing vocals. It is perfect for sleepy time and parents will enjoy it as well. Should stand up to many repeats.
The album was obviously designed for young audiences; the content follows suit even though it comes from 14 different writers. The behaviors of love and caring shine through the songs and the presentation. Some of the language may be beyond little ones but that allows adults to appreciate the songs as well.
The vocals are consistently solid as well as the arrangements and players. The recording quality is top-notch. I think this is a favorite album that a child can grow with and learn to appreciate all the fine songwriters represented herein. They may want to know about other songs by them.
— John Wood, reviewer for KIDS FIRST! & KidzMusic
Suzanne has a soft, delicate but strong voice. The musical program is a dozen classics focused on hope, all pleasant thoughts that foster good feelings. The mood is good and the air is light as Jamieson flutters through the lyrics chirping like a bird in the Spring.
“Lyrical singing, familiar and beloved songs, smart arrangements and elegant performances all around make this sophisticated album as comforting as a favorite blanket. Suzanne’s musical phrasing and clarinet-like voice are given a fine treatment on this fun and grown-up collection of songs
— Georgia Stitt, Broadway conductor, composer, and vocal coach
Suzanne Jamieson’s A Sun-Up Sky, a pleasant collection of songs from Broadway of today and yesterday. For Sondheim fans, the track to focus on is a terrific medley that cleverly fuses “Take Me to the World” (from Evening Primrose) with Johnny Brandon’s “You’re Gonna Hear From Me.” Equally impressive is Jamieson’s rendition of William Finn’s “I’d Rather Be Sailing” (from A New Brain).
— Andy Propst, Associate Editor of TheatreMania.com and the founder of AmericanTheaterWeb.com
Racine native Suzanne Jamieson hasn’t slowed down for a second since leaving Wisconsin at the age of 18 to pursue her “show-biz” bug. Living in Los Angeles, Jamieson appears in several national commercials, writes the “Haute Health” food blog and just released her debut album, “A Sun-Up Sky.”
Recently, we chatted with Jamieson about life after growing up in Wisconsin, her age-old love for music and her brand new album.
OnMilwaukee.com: What prompted you to release your debut CD?
Suzanne Jamieson: After finishing a cabaret called “Speak Low” in July 2007, I decided to record the songs just because it was something I had always wanted to do. I finished that about a year later and decided that I would submit it to Lee Lessack’s record label, LML, which covers similar styles of music and is based out of L.A. You can imagine my thrill when Lee called me and told me he’d like to pick up the album … but with some changes.
The songs made sense in the context of my cabaret, as it was a musical memoir — but as an album it was not as cohesive as he would have liked. So, we took some songs out, put some new songs in, re-recorded several of the songs to capture the tone and feel of the new album, and we ended up with “A Sun-Up Sky,” of which I am very proud. It was a dream come true for me to release a CD and I am honored and humbled to work with this great label.
OMC: What draws you to American songbook favorites, Broadway and pop classics?
SJ: Well, I have always loved show tunes. And songs from the “Great American Songbook” grab me because, well, they’re just really good. Beautiful, simple, soulful songs. There is a reason they’re still around and still so beloved. “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” a song originally recorded by Melissa Manchester, is the only real pop classic on the album.
OMC: You attended Syracuse University for musical theater. Is that where your musical background comes from?
SJ: I’ve been singing since I was a little girl. I was always involved in whatever choirs, theater or ensembles were available to me as an outlet to sing. I sang my first solo in sixth grade at McKinley Middle School in Racine. It was “Save the Best for Last” by Vanessa Williams. I just never really stopped! I’ve been taking voice lessons for 15 years now. I still love it.
OMC: You were born in Wisconsin, moved to New York and now live in L.A. Where do you think most of your influence comes from?
SJ: Each place I’ve lived has made its mark on me, both musically and personally. Many of my song choices, I have noticed, allude to nature. I think that has something to do with growing up in verdant Wisconsin. It’s also the place where I learned that I was good at this, where I found my escape in music and where people believed in me without question.
New York was a real kick in the pants, to be honest. I was only there for a year, but my time there taught me about perseverance and commitment.
Los Angeles has been wonderful to me and my husband, Brian Selmo — also a Racine native. I found my voice teacher, Calvin Remsberg, who has completely transformed my voice. Los Angeles is the place that allowed me the space and time to really grow into myself.
— Milwaukee Blog
Los Angeles-based actress Suzanne Jamieson makes her album debut with A Sun-Up Sky. The disc is a collection of standards from both Broadway and the pop world. Her voice is suited for the theater and as such she belts out the songs as if she were up on stage. “Take Me To the World/You’re Gonna Hear from Me” is a prime example of how well she can belt out a show tune.
Jamieson takes on the work of Sondheim, Cole Porter and Barry Manilow over the course of dozen song collection. She keeps the arrangements fairly simple, which allows her fans to hear her own instrument over those in the band.
The album’s stand-out performance comes late in the disc with her cover of Melissa Manchester’s “Don’t Cry Out loud.” Some of the other songs tend to blend together, which can be attributed to either really good pairing or choosing songs that sound too much alike. You be the judge.
— Edge Boston
Long before “pop” became whatever Ryan Seacrest is hawking in any given week, it was a word synonymous with the Great American Songbook and the mature emotional palette expressed therein. Racine native Suzanne Jamieson excels in applying the colors from that palette to some of that book’s songs and others owing to its legacy. Over softly recorded arrangements rich with piano, Jamieson lends gusto to material by writers ranging from Cole Porter to Barry Manilow. Her supple soprano tone, given to occasional runs of diva drama, should find fans among those who already enjoy Kristin Chenoweth; Diana Krall lovers may also find favor with the prominence of keyboard against expressive female vocals. Within that old-fashioned definition of pop, Jamieson combines jazz, adult contemporary and show-tune intuition into a sound just right for nightclub evenings and seductions aplenty.
— Express Milwaukee