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Tina Marsh: Inside the Breaking: Volume 1

It has been just over 25 years since Tina Marsh founded Austin’s Create Opportunity Orchestra, and she’s celebrating a belated silver anniversary by taking a short break from the CO2’s bold, brave experimentation to record in a far more intimate setting. Bracketed by CO2 pianist Eddy Hobizal and cellist Terry Muir, Marsh promises “pop songs, standards, arias and Ornette.” And that’s precisely what she delivers, laying her majesty bare on a trio of Puccini arias, gems from the Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Ray Noble songbooks, contemporary compositions by Sting and Leonard Cohen, and Coleman’s despair-lined masterpiece, “Lonely Woman.”

In doing so, Marsh somehow manages to simultaneously channel the soaring theatricality of Broadway divas (Julie Andrews and Debbie Gravite come most immediately to mind), the showmanship of Madonna, the sly intelligence of Janis Siegel and the flawless diamond clarity of Renée Fleming. Less an album than a multi-discipline art installation, Inside the Breaking requires more introspection than inspection. Indeed, you don’t listen to Tina Marsh; you simply absorb her spring water purity and natural, Sequoia-esque grandeur.

Originally Published