There are some great new CDs that celebrate the fabulous music of Broadway and TV.
As I write, ONCE has received more Tony nominations than any other show this season, and rightly so. This delicate and delightful musical is the story of a young guitar playing Irishman who’s lost his confidence in his music, and a youthful Czech woman who plays the piano. Included in the score is the Oscar winning “Falling Slowly.” Coupled with some typically Irish toe-tapping tunes, a strangely perverse country song, some Flamenco, and a sprightly jig, this CD is a total winner for fans of great Broadway musicals.
Not to be missed is the extraordinary Tracie Bennett singing Judy Garland in the Broadway musical END OF THE RAINBOW. While the songs are beloved and familiar, including “The Man That Got Away,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” and of course, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” Bennett keeps faithful to Judy, while bringing her own substantial talent into the mix.
Judy’s daughter, Liza, is also well represented with LIZA MINNELLI LIVE AT THE WINTER GARDEN. Whether clowning around with a number, or breaking our hearts, Liza holds the audience in the palm of her hand. Her riff about people who claim to know someone who looks just like her is a nod to her classic “Liza With a Z;” she is never less than completely charming, and in excellent voice here.
No one who saw the TV special “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall” will ever forget it. While their “Julie and Carol at Lincoln Center” was a bit anticlimactic, it’s a treat to have the soundtrack for both performances on one CD. JULIE ANDREWS & CAROL BURNETT: THE CBS TELEVISION SPECIALS is a showcase not only of the great talent these women possessed, but also of their spectacular chemistry. An unlikely mix of down-home Texas born funny girl and English rose, the two romp, kid, and sing beautifully, together and separately. Whose says you shouldn’t invite two divas to the same party?
I was unfamiliar with the work of jazz stylist Michelle LeBlanc, but her I REMEMBER YOU CD won me over. Singing standards like “You Do Something To Me” and “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” LeBlanc brings her own unique, entertaining interpretation without a lot of heavy instrumentation.
As the man said, “If music be the food of love, play on.”
Michall Jeffers is an accomplished Cultural Journalist and an devoted music lover. She writes extensively about musicals, concerts, opera, and CDs, both in print and online. Her eponymous cable TV show is syndicated throughout the tri-state area, and features celebrity interviews, reviews, and commentary. www.michalljeffers.com