Alan Bergman performance at Joe’s Pub in New York: New York Sun Review

June 5, 2007

by Will Friedwald

The highly decorated lyricist Alan Bergman, (who with his partner and wife Marilyn have won more Oscars and Grammy’s that I want to sit around and count) has just released his first album Lyrically, Alan Bergman (Verve).  In celebration he did a show Tuesday night at Joe’s Pub accompanied by the virtuoso piano and bass duo, Mike Renzi and Dave Finck. 

Take the way he starts “Windmills Of Your Mind,” without a full line but just a single word – “Round” – that he makes into a statement all by itself.  Mr. Bergman was so completely convincing that I found myself shaking my head and wondering if my mind really does have windmills in it.  He may not have chops enough to make all the notes but he leaves nothing unsung.

Lyrically CD Review – New York Times

May 21, 2007
by Stephen Holden

There is no underestimating the value of a lowered voice. To hear Alan Bergman murmur lyrics that Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and Neil Diamond have passionately declaimed is to rediscover movie songs divested of red-carpet glitter and dressed in street clothes. Ms. Streisand’s high-strung renditions of “The Way We Were,” “How Do You Keep the Music Playing?,” “You Donπt Bring Me Flowers” and “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” may be the definitive, weepy, show-stopping interpretations. But as Mr. Bergman, who wrote those songs’ lyrics with his wife, Marilyn, shows in his quiet, ruminative readings, emotional balance and wisdom lurk below the Sturm und Drang.

Of the album’s 13 songs, most are romantic ballads (“scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind” to quote “The Way We Were”) delivered in a spirit of wistfulness and gratitude. Crooned slowly in a conversational talk-sing voice, with perfect enunciation, and surrounded by sighing gossamer strings, his singing is honest, dignified and entirely devoid of affect. Greeting-card locutions like “the summer smoothes the restless sky” (in “The Summer Knows”) and “north and south and east and west of your life” (in “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”) sound as natural as fleeting images in a sleepy reverie. Mr. Bergman’s natural style suggests a merger of two of his idols, Johnny Mercer and Fred Astaire. You can’t find better role models than that. [ READ ALBUM REVIEWS ]

Lyrically, Alan Bergman Album Released

Lyrically is a selection of Alan & Marilyn Bergman’s most popular songs sung by Alan Bergman with the Berlin Big Band and Radio Orchestra. The album was released on May 8, 2007 on Verve Records.

Alan Bergman has always been a “closet crooner” according to composer, Dave Grusin.  He found his public voice late in life and began singing for charity events which led to performances at clubs such as The Russian Tea Room (NY), The Jazz Bakery (LA), The Oakroom at The Algonquin Hotel (NY), Feinstein’s at The Regency (NY).

“He is a gifted vocalist… reminiscent of Sinatra.” — Marvin Hamlisch

“(Alan) brings intelligence, sensitivity and innate musicality to his singing… I am a big fan!”  — Michel Legrand

“Like Sinatra, Alan can turn a 32 bar song into a 3 Act Play.” — Quincy Jones

Barbra Streisand has chosen Alan’s version of “Love Like Ours” as one of her favorite recordings to listen to.

Lyrically is “a musical experience you wonπt want to miss.” — Michael Bruning.


For more information and to purchase the CD, CLICK HERE.

Bergman/Morricone Song Performed at the 79th Annual Academy Awards

March 11, 2007

Alan and Marilyn Bergman have written lyrics to an Ennio Morricone song (theme from “Once Upon A Time In America”). The song titled “I Knew I Loved You” – performed by Celine Dion – had its premier during the Academy Awards. Celine’s recording of this song is the first track on a new CD entitled “We All Love Ennio Morricone” available for purchase through

Music Review–Serenading Two Grown Ups: Songs for Staying in Love

November 3, 2006

The New York Times by Stephen Holden

An adult love song that you won’t hear sung by Britney Spears: that’s how Michael Feinstein described ”How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” at a 50th anniversary celebration of the lyrics of Alan and Marilyn Bergman on Thursday evening at Zankel Hall. Written by the Bergmans with the composer Michel Legrand for the 1982 film ”Best Friends,” the song is a quintessential Bergman creation in its fusion of traditional songwriting craft with the more modern sensibility of self-help and therapy.

The words express the unspoken questions pondered by a couple embarking on a long-term relationship. ”How do you lose yourself to someone/And never lose your way?” ”And since we know we’re always changing/How can it be the same?” Because the song was written for a movie, it has a conditional Hollywood ending: ”With any luck, then I suppose the music never ends.”

And there you have the essence of Alan and Marilyn Bergman at their best. The godparents of American pop tradition keep one foot in the past, the other in the present.

Mr. Feinstein, accompanying himself on piano, poured out its long-lined phrases in a soothing musical flow. When pop wisdom is imparted this gracefully, it provides a kind of artistic reassurance: if we’re all in the same boat, it can be a lovely place to be.

The concert was the latest edition of ”Standard Time With Michael Feinstein,” the Ascap-produced series in which the host’s two sides, the dedicated archivist who was once Ira Gershwin’s assistant and the entertainer, converge to explore traditional pop songwriting. The evening included a revealing discussion with Mr. Feinstein and the Bergmans about their history and working methods.

Three guest vocalists — Carolee Carmello, Rupert Holmes and Lari White — added spice. Mr. Holmes sang the Sinatra hit, ”Nice ‘n’ Easy,” an early Bergman collaboration with the composer Lew Spence, who introduced the couple. It was the Bergmans, Mr. Holmes remembered, who introduced him to Barbra Streisand, for whom he produced the album ”Lazy Afternoon” and wrote songs for ”A Star Is Born.

”Ms. Carmello offered hefty dramatic readings of ”What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” and ”Fifty Percent.” Ms. White was the evening’s big surprise. This Nashville based country-gospel singer who appeared on Broadway in the Johnny Cash musical ”Ring of Fire,” delivered a medley from ”Yentl,” that she described as ”a Baptist, shiksa version.” Internal monologues Ms. Streisand infused with a majestic yearning lost none of their power when Ms. White sang them in a more colloquial Broadway style, and the audience responded with cheers.

Equally impressive was Mr. Bergman’s rendition of ”The Windmills of Your Mind,” the swatch of verbal vertigo from ”The Thomas Crown Affair” that won the couple their first songwriting Oscar. Sung in a warm, ruminative murmur, it took on the metaphysical dimension of someone watching his life pass before his eyes.

By the end of the show I couldn’t help thinking that for this fortunate couple, who have been married for almost as long as they have been writing songs together, the questions posed in ”How Do You Keep the Music Playing?” have been resolved. The relationship may be the closest thing to a Hollywood ending any two people could reasonably hope to find.