Piano chords line the marrow of Bruce Sudano. They’re always there, ready to convey his emotions through the keys. On a crisp winter afternoon in New York, the kind where brilliant sunlight bursts through a clear blue sky, Sudano dropped by the Laurie Beechman Theatre, a midtown cabaret space where performers of all theatrical persuasions have held court for more than 30 years. Within seconds of Sudano’s arrival, the piano pulls him to the stage like a magnet.
“Is there a remedy for the passions of the sun?” he sang, his voice tinged with warmth and wonder. It’s the opening line to “I’m a Rainbow”, a song he wrote just before the release of his first solo album Fugitive Kind (1981). It’s a spontaneous performance but the sentiment behind the song is as much a part of Sudano as the supple yet rough-hewn texture of his voice. He is an artist whose soul speaks through melodies.
Whether the sun or rainbows, the sky has always furnished a canvas of inspiration for Sudano. It’s the backdrop for “The Mountain”, the latest single from his new EP, Spirals, Vol. 1: Not a Straight Line to Be Found (2020). “You don’t look at the mountain when you’re reaching for the sky,” he sings, his voice carrying the last note to a whole other octave. Of late, Sudano has explored the upper part of his vocal range, a place where words themselves seem to soar. It serves “The Mountain” well ...