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Dorothy Axelrod: Reviews


Ariel Publicity. New York

“Somewhere in Romance” is truly a masterpiece that we will listen to for years to come.


Dorothy Axelrod‘s ‘Somewhere in Romance’ is a work of sheer beauty that transcends conventional metaphor.  Despite being a collection of timeless piano pieces, her personal touch shows eminent passion for her music; near technically flawless, with just enough of her own style to make the album unique, classic and astoundingly brilliant.

From the first few notes, ‘Somewhere in Romance’ grabs hold like an awe-inspiring dream that you don’t want to ever end. Indeed, the entire album lives up to the fabulous rendition of Miss Saigon’s ‘Sun and Moon’ where it begins and never lets go, gently progressing through old favorites and more modern fair, ending sweetly with an ingenious pairing of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and ‘Somewhere’ from West Side Story. The first time I put it on it got played six times in a row. After the first four, my girlfriend got home and walked into the middle. She remarked how beautiful it was and asked to see the song listings. She then immediately skipped to ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. Dorothy’s version is so marvelous that after the first couple of minutes, my girlfriend was in tears. Not because she has some sort of abnormal sentimental attachment to it, but simply because it is played that well.  We immediately listened to the entire album through - again two more times after that. Each successive time, towards the end she would get sentimental and need a few good hugs. Music rarely has such a great effect on her, or me for that matter, so it is a little personal experiential proof that ‘Somewhere in Romance’ is truly a masterpiece that we will listen to for years to come.

The selection of music could not have been better hand-picked or arranged. Familiar favorites, such as Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and even an Oscar Hammerstein II song, that all flow together well.  Axelrod’s particular flair sounds as though her fingertips have evoked the sense of a jazz scat vocal improvisation, filling the spaces between notes with nimble agility. Her style shines through blending everything into harmonious romance, as though all of these songs were meant to be played together.

Axelrod even managed to help me like a song I previously didn’t enjoy:  ‘Somewhere Out There’. I know, the original song is all right, but when I was young there was always something I hated about character actors singing in high squeaky pitches, and I rarely enjoyed the romantic duets that plagued the radio of the late 80s. Stripped of vocal styling, the song takes flight with the simple power of the piano, and now I can say I love ‘Somewhere Out There’. This version, for me, puts the old versions to shame. It is always incredible when someone’s insight is enough to take ones emotions from dislike to love, and Dorothy has such rare insight, beyond doubt.

‘Somewhere in Romance’ by Dorothy Axelrod is a flawless work of solo piano that when played has the passion to make any ‘place that special place’ and to make ‘every moment that special moment’, to quote the inside of her album cover. It is appropriate for any occasion, be it a formal wedding, or simply unwinding from a stressful day and is even smooth enough to sleep to, yet is inspiring enough to use as a theme for work. Versatile, elegant and beautiful, one would be hard pressed to find a comparable pianist in the world today.

 By Julian Gorman:



This is just what I've been waiting for! The selction of music and Dorothy's romantic interpretations set the tone for a perfect candlelight dinner with my husband. I love it!

By Claudia K. Southern California

Pours her heart into it without going over the top.   Beautifully done!

Somewhere In Romance is the solo piano debut of Dorothy Axelrod, a Southern California pianist and piano teacher with thirty years of teaching experience - even more than me! The fourteen selections are standards and film music that share the themes of love and romance, beautifully arranged and improvised by Ms Axelrod.

Inspired at an early age by a concert performance by piano legend Liberace, Axelrod has had a lifelong passion for the piano that she shares with her students as well as her audiences. She performs regularly with her trio in Southern California, and releasing this album has been a lifelong dream.

Passion and a very impressive playing technique imbue the music with a warmth that goes far beyond most CDs of solo piano cover tunes. It is very clear from her playing that Axelrod deeply loves this music and wants to share that love with her listeners. Fans of Robin Meloy Goldsby and Danny Wright will find a lot to like here.

The album begins with “Sun and Moon” from Miss Saigon, a tender and heartfelt piece that builds to a passionate climax and then returns to a feeling of longing - a lovely start!  “Cinema Paradiso” isn’t as familiar as some of the songs on the album, but deep emotion and flowing beauty are in every note.

“My Funny Valentine” and “Autumn Leaves” are two of my favorite  standards, and Axelrod’s arrangements are just right. One of the most enchanting movie themes ever is “Somewhere In Time,” and Axelrod makes it her own - soft and gentle yet sparkling. I also really like “Legends Of the Fall,” a graceful, dreamy theme played with a velvet touch. “All the Things You Are” was composed more than seventy years ago, but Axelrod brings it up-to-date with style and heart. “Here’s That Rainy Day,” a jazz standard from the 1950’s, is given a sweet and lovely make-over for the 21st century romantic.

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is the ultimate daydream song - wistful and yearning. “Somewhere” from West Side Story is the fourth song on the album with “somewhere” in the title - undoubtedly the inspiration for the CD title! Also a deeply passionate song, Dorothy pours her heart into it without going over the top. Beautifully done!

By: Kathy Parsons   

Piano sounds so warm

We listened to Dorothy’s CD, and what magnificent work! The arrangements are wonderful and the piano sounds so warm. Please know that our prayers are with you.

By Arlington & Hope Jones, Texas

Love it, love it, love it!

I can't thank you enough for your beautiful cd !!!  I simply LOVE it!!  I play it all the time and usually have it on as background music when I have passengers in the Limo.

Again, I can thank you enough for your beautiful music.   I've been look for such a cd for quite sometime.   Your very gifted!  I enjoyed reading your story and your love for music.......

Robert, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Dorothy plays with her heart  

The songs are beautiful and I can't wait to hear the entire CD. Dorothy plays with her heart and it is conveyed through her music. What a winner! The song choices are perfect in this album--babies will be made in honor of Dorothy when heard.

By Linda, Ohio

An unexpected interest.  

"I’m only 13 years old and I think this music is wonderful. I really appreciate the way the music can make you relax on a hectic day or upbeat when you’re trying to get out of bed and off to school".

By Peguinn, Thousand Oaks, California

Now My Favorite CD

One of the most innovative albums I have ever heard. We were so impressed by the individual interpretations of each song. It certainly made for a relaxing and enjoyable listening session. We will be looking for another outstanding album in the future.

Phyllis-Vancouver, Washington

(Follow up letter from reviewer at Ariel Publicity)

I wanted to thank you for making my job so easy!  

Dear Dorothy,

It is a delight to get such wonderful music to review.  Honestly it is most difficult for me to give artists bad news...  That's why when I receive truly amazing work like "Somewhere in Romance" it is enthralling.  Your music has the ability to change my mood and I'm happy to say, others as well.  It is great music to surprise people with.  Sometimes when I have guests, I put it on under the conversation and not only does it drive great ideas unconsciously, but inevitably someone will notice, getting swept up in the music and compliment your work.  I try to spread the word of good music in my own little way as well and unfortunately there are many CDs on my desk that don't get that same sort of attention. The only real reason I can find is something that you have and not many new musicians even understand: discipline.  I can hear the practice and hard work, even though you make it seem effortless.  So, thank you, for not only making work fun, but for inspiring me and helping to maintain a high quality standard.

Your album, "Somewhere in Romance” was also a first for me, you see, it was my first 5 star review!  I just hope that my words can help it get well deserved attention.

I wish I could have went on pages about it.  Suffice it to say that your album is named appropriately and helped improve our romance.  That is a true rarity these days.  It is not very often that one can say a title actually reflects what it means, especially with subliminal advertising permeating music and art, “Somewhere in Romance” actually is truthful.  It is simplicity such as this that I have the utmost respect for.  In fact there is only one thing I hold higher, and that is creativity.  A sort of paradox, but one imperative to the way whimsical, real-life, immeasurable beautiful art is made, simultaneously evoking many emotions and memories.  Since Romance itself is all these things and the indescribable, one should feel all perspectives possible.  That's also why the compilation of songs even feels appropriate.  Everything was there that I expected and more.  Another 1st. - Your work will be the standard I judge other perspective "perfect reviews" with.

Ariel Publicity Julian Gorman

Julian Gorman - Follow up letter from Ariel Publicity (Oct 17, 2012)

I found perfection somewhere!

This piano playing only reminds me of the greatest mistake I ever made personally in my life and that was when I quit taking piano lessons. It truly is the only thing I would change in my life.

 Ms. Axelrod through a Higher Powers grace you are truly a gift. Your playing isn't showy, but it is individualistic.

I remember as a child my father bought a piano and when I got home it had arrived and before he got home I had figured out how to play Errol Garner's "Misty" with one finger. I was in about the second grade.

That instrument was the greatest sound I had ever heard. And under your hands and fingers it is played as if God our Father was playing it. As a kid I would spend hours playing the record, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and I would think there was nothing as beautiful as that song---until your music. You truly are gifted and a blessing for our time, a time that we need a gift such as yours to take us "somewhere" other than today's headlines.

Thank you and I only hope there is more. Your newest  fan, Barry King.

Barry King