Reviewed by Jane Roser
Molly Ringwald is one of those rare talents not seen since the days of Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds- a quadruple threat. She can act, dance, sing and write. And on top of that, she is a super nice person.
I met Molly Ringwald at a book signing and discussion last year for her current publication of short stories “When It Happens To You.” She reminisced about her days almost 30 years ago (lookin’ mighty fine for 45 Miss Molly!) filming John Hughes’ movies, such as Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club while answering some pretty crazy audience questions:
Audience member: “You juggle so many tasks, have you ever forgotten your child’s birthday?”
Molly Ringwald: “No! That happened to me in one of my movies!”
You cannot help but be awed by the glow that surrounds her. When she smiled at me and told me that she liked my hair (which I’ve dyed red ever since I moved to Scotland in the 1990s) I was so taken aback by her aura, I just said “ditto.” And meant it!
Except Sometimes is a gorgeous, sensual jazz album released by Concord Music Group inspired by Molly’s days growing up listening and performing with her pianist father’s jazz band.
“I grew up in a home filled with music and had an early appreciation of jazz since my dad was a jazz musician. Beginning at around age three I started singing with his band and jazz music has continued to be one of my three passions along with acting and writing. I like to say jazz music is my musical equivalent of comfort food. It’s always where I go back to when I want to feel grounded.”
Ms. Ringwald’s sultry vocals on old jazz standards such as “Sooner Or Later” and “The Very Thought Of You” bring you back to a bygone era of musky New Orleans piano bars, so listen to this by candlelight whilst sipping a Sazerac and you’ll feel as if you’re on Bourbon Street in the 1930’s.
While most of the tracks here are jazz standards, “Where Is Love?” has the distinction of being a song from my sister’s favorite musical, the 1960’s Tony and Oscar winning Oliver! Boy is that ever a depressing scene when Oliver sings this tune before escaping the orphanage from hell, but I digress.
This album keeps it simple with just drums, bass, piano and alt saxophone as accompaniment. The final track is a tribute to John Hughes in the form of a cover of “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” from The Breakfast Club soundtrack. A slow, sultry version that is a fresh take on the Simple Minds song.
Ringwald evokes her passion for these songs and it’s obvious she understands their heart. She is a golden voiced songstress and so I recall a quote from Gustave Flaubert that Ringwald used in her latest book: “We must not touch our idols; the gilt comes off in our hands.”