Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Martino sings several styles

Cleveland Press August 15, 1972

Yes, children, there was an Al Martino before there was a "Godfather." The singer's role in tlhat popular movie has brought him new prominence but the Al Martino who opened a week's stand at Musicarnival last night is the product of more than two decades of singing. The result is a polished and easy-going style that doesn't come about overnight.

The entire evening is one of melody from the show's star, Martino, and from the relative newcomer, Aliza Kashi, who opened the show.

At various times in his career Martino has changed his style in order to try out what was currently popular. He did it successfully and the result, all these years later, is a show that offers not |ust one singing style, not just one kind of song, but a wide variety of both. The show is a miniture history of tastes in popular music in the last twenty years.

THE THEME IS generally romantic but the sounds range from American country and western to Italian ballads, from upbeat modern to mellow movie music. There are moments when there's a folk song flavor, then other moments that reflect the solid commercial sound of Tin Pan Alley.

Naturally he sings the songs that have been hit recordings for him and naturally his followers respond with ,the appropriate cheers and applause,

So you get "Spanish Eyes" and "Jean, Jean," and the haunting "Mary in the Morning." He sings "Games People Play," claiming that the upbeat number isn't his bag, but it is. He croons "It's Impossible" and "Love Me With All Your Heary" and you notice that here' s a singer who still closes his eyes occasionally as he sings. He offers "Lonely Is Man Without Love" in the original Italian, slips into a country and western flayor as he sings "I Love You Most of All Because You're You."

HE DOES THE theme from "Summer of 42" and quite naturally sings his current hit, the theme from "The Godfather."

Unlike most singers out at the tent this season, Al Martino keeps his talking to a minimum and concentrates instead on the singing, which is just fine.

The Israeli singer Aliza Kashi is quite a surprise. While she manages to exude a good deal of sex appeal she sings with both warmth and vivacity.

The program says Miss Kashi sings in seven laguages. I didn't keep count, mostly because I wouldn't recognize them all anyway

SHE DID SING in Hebrew, Yiddish, Italian and Japanese. She talks a good deal, not in what you would I call accented English, but rather a sort of fractured English. Running her own sing-along, she kept urging the audience to "chip in."

She did a tribute to Al Jolson. I think "After You're Gone" was in Hebrew and "Swanee" came out in Japanese. And there was something that came through as "Rockabye Bambino."

She offers a soulful rendition of "Yiddishe Ma Ma." She does a salute to Judy Garland that has a little too much talking to it but otherwise is fine and ends with a big, big version of "Joy to the World" mingle with "Aquarius" and similar music.

This is quite a show, and, quite a pair of singers.