This CD is based on a cabaret show that Nancy Stearns performed at the Metropolitan Room in New York City in the spring of 2011, with her music director, Gregory Toroian, on piano, and David Finck, on bass.
A regular on the New York City cabaret circuit since 2001, Nancy has done a variety of theme shows with Gregory Toroian as music director. Since 2001, she has performed annually at Don't Tell Mama or the Metropolitan Room. Nancy has also performed at Rose’s Turn and The Encore in New York, and at Il Chiostro in Italy!
In the work-a-day world, Nancy is a lawyer –her public interest
career has included many years of constitutional and environmental
Nancy is also the administrator for Helen Baldassare’s Cabaret
Reviewers have said of "Weather or Not":
"With songs whose lyrics go beyond just cute references to mundane meteorological matters, the album never risks feeling like the soundtrack to television's The Weather Channel. Depth and laments and catharsis come into play with Randy Newman's "Louisiana 1927" about a flood in that year and place and Loonis McGlohon/Alec Wilder's emotionally hefty, haunting and mature exploration of the uneasiness of "Blackberry Winter" (with its pained realization "I'll never get over losing you/ But I've learned that life goes on"). And Nancy, while she's nobody's weepy drama queen, rises to the occasion with a mix of the restrained and pained choking back of very present (or past) tears. For me, although she wins points for grace and smiling good spirits (Francesca Blumenthal's endearing "Christmas in New York" and the sprightly splash of fun in Tommy Wolf and Fran Landesman's "It's Nice Weather for Ducks"), where she really impresses is when she takes on something invoking a philosophical bent or reflective element. A good example here is her dignified and pensive reading of Duke Ellington's "I Like the Sunrise," carrying real weight in the way she expresses the mix of serenity and hope. In Noël Coward's "Come the Wild, Wild Weather," with its quiet but firm assurance that "we will always be friends," is persuasive and warm. The use of elements of Nature as powerful metaphors in both pieces is something that suits the Stearns style of communication, transmitting a well of feeling and considered perspectives.
Gregory Toroian's arrangements capture the singer's humanity and bring extra depth and shadings when she underplays—quite the balance—and the rich fabric of some marvelous melodies get both loving care and informed emphasis in his playing. His settings have real character and form, avoiding clichés (some playing on selections about rain more subtly suggest the rhythms or tinkling of raindrops without risking a "sound effects" punctuated approach). And his jazzier excursions on solos are pure pleasure." Rob Lester, TalkingBroadway.com, Sound Advice, May 3, 2012
"NANCY STEARNS/Weather or Not: The singing lawyer continues her love affair with albums that have themes, this time around the theme is weather. Kicking it off with "Blue Skies" and veering around the barometer from there, the cabaret inflected performer manages to successfully bring the weather spot on the evening news to the cabaret. How nice when you have a generous canon to pull from. When she's immersed in a lyric she loves, she seems like she should give up her day job." Midwest Record (www.midwestrecord.com), January 9, 2012