"Oh dreamer, leave thy dreams for joyful waking,"
goes the first line of the first song, "O Dreamer,"
better known to many as "Danny Boy," in Nitya
Thomas' beautiful CD recorded under the Watchfire
Music label. The traditional Irish melody has lyrics
by Rose M. Turner. But you're not dreaming if you
think you're hearing something akin to the best of
Broadway or even the Metropolitan Opera. Miss Thomas
is that good!
Other songs on this debut CD are "My Grateful Spirit Sings"
with music and lyrics by Sally DeFord and an incredible new
musical version of the 23rd Psalm with music composed by
Nitya Thomas herself.
All three songs are produced and orchestrated by Peter
Link, a Broadway composer and owner of New York's Link
"I am discovering that a large purpose in our journey in
this lifetime seems to be awakening to the truth of who
we really are as opposed to what the world would tell us
what we are," Miss Thomas writes in the album's liner
Fortunately, Miss Thomas, who was a successful financial
analyst with Goldman Sachs in London, awakened to the
glorious truth of her gifts as a singer/composer.
Originally from Bangalore, India, Miss Thomas decided to
"explore her artistic self," as Peter Link put it, and
study voice. "Gratefully, Miss Thomas comes with a real
'instrument,' " Mr. Link added. "As a producer, my
favorite thing about Miss Thomas is to take the
information that I give her, ingest it, and quickly turn
it around in a strong process."
But Miss Thomas is much more than a singer with a
technically gifted voice. Because if she were any
better, music fans would be dissatisfied with most of
the Broadway, cabaret and even opera performers in
America today. For Miss Thomas, like the greatest
concert pianists or Broadway or opera divas, for that
matter, exudes an indescribable warmth and joy no amount
of technical proficiency can even approach. In her
unique rendition of the 23rd Psalm Miss Thomas'
irresistible warmth is as evident as her vocal range.
There are very few, if any, singers who have equal
portions of both.
On the inspiration for writing the music for her version
of the 23rd Psalm, Miss Thomas explains, "A dear friend
and I were both going through a tough time and searching
for inspiration together one evening. And we ended up
discussing and reading it back to each other many times
- and finding comfort in its beautiful and reassuring
message. That evening I returned home and went straight
to the piano, and from that place of comfort came this
Earlier this year, Miss Thomas won the prestigious job
of soloist of First Church of Christ, Scientist, New
York City, on Central Park West and 68th Street, and one
of the most historically beautiful and unique churches
on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
So here is a performer with unerring precision and
engaging warmth. And this critic's grateful spirit
sings, to quote a repeated line among Sally DeFord
lyrics for "My Grateful Spirit Sings."
When veteran singer Clark Warren, whose most recent
performances in New York have been at the prestigious
Metropolitan Room, sings "Nancy," (also known as "Nancy
with the Laughing Face") one can't help but think of
Frank Sinatra whose rendition was an ode to his daughter
Nancy. Warren sings it with special aplomb since
Sinatra's one-time musical associate, Wendell Gibbs, had
a daughter, Gaile, about Nancy's age. And Gaile is