“Don’t Dream It’s Over” by Patricia Lazzara, Allison Brewster Franzetti, and Steve Markoff

“Don’t Dream It’s Over” will definitely whip up an assortment of memories for many listeners. Crowded House’s smash 80’s radio hit and MTV staple remain a nostalgic mainstay over thirty years later. I believe it is, however, safe to say no one, especially the song’s author Neil Finn, ever pictured the pop classic rebuilt as a meditative flute and piano-propelled piece.

Patricia Lazzara, Allison Brewster Franzetti, and Steve Markoff make it work. Their cover of the Crowded House classic is the latest single from the trio’s forthcoming third album. It follows on the heels of a 2019 debut, Timeless – Hits of Love and Hope From Pop, Rock & Soft Rock, and its 2021 successor Romances in Blue. Those works garnered Markoff, Lazzara, and Franzetti many favorable reviews and experienced a surprising amount of commercial success given the instrumental nature of the performances and their offbeat approach.

I hear much of the song’s appeal in its fidelity to the original mixing with its unexpected instrumentation. If someone approached me last week and said, hey, how do you think Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over” would work with piano, alto and convert flute, I would have said not well. Instead, the trio makes sure that the original is a core part of their version and recasting it with these instruments is revelatory.

Markoff’s alto flute and Lazzara’s concert flute are a sensitive tandem. Moreover, the pair share the ever-elusive telepathic connection you hear musicians talk about. It isn’t pronounced, there’s no single moment when it leaps out at listeners, but the seamlessness of their interplay is undeniable. Even listeners such as I, who normally don’t appreciate this sort of music, will find a lot to admire here. Much of this is likely attributable to the origins of their relationship.

Markoff originally met Lazzara when he came looking for instruction. Transitioning into a creative partnership is far from ordinary for a student and teacher relationship, but kindred artistic spirits occasionally meet. Allison Brewster Franzetti’s piano playing completes the picture. Her role changes often during the course of the track as some passages hear her taking command while others find her playing a strictly supporting role.

She shares her own unique chemistry with both Markoff and Lazzara. It’s natural, of course, but has grown stronger with each new track I’ve heard from the three. Her playing turns introspective at times, retreating into the song. There are other sections, however, where melodies surge from her dancing fingers. The sum, however, is greater than the song’s individual parts.

It’s how they weave into a coherent whole that determines the song’s worth. They give new life to Finn’s original and then carry it several steps further than the Eighties pop stars dared dream. It’s invigorating to hear songs from your long-gone youth remembered and refurbished for new audiences; it’s how art survives and moves on to future generations. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” has ended up in excellent hands here and I’m excited to hear what other riches their new album will contain.

Nicole Killian

The music of Steve Markoff & Patricia Lazzara has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division.  Learn more https://musikandfilm.com

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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