A Fine Romance: Jerome Kern Songbook

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
Dipping into its stable of fine singers and previously issued albums, Verve Records has come up with another composer tribute disc, this time honoring master lyricist, Jerome Kern. The results of collaborations, not only with Oscar Hammerstein, II, but with Dorothy Field, Otto Harbach, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy McHugh, and others are included within the 53 minutes of music here. The performers, from the upper echelons of the purveyors of the vocal art, remind us how many fine singers were with Norman Granz at some stage during their careers. In addition to the big names like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
Dipping into its stable of fine singers and previously issued albums, Verve Records has come up with another composer tribute disc, this time honoring master lyricist, Jerome Kern. The results of collaborations, not only with Oscar Hammerstein, II, but with Dorothy Field, Otto Harbach, Johnny Mercer, Jimmy McHugh, and others are included within the 53 minutes of music here. The performers, from the upper echelons of the purveyors of the vocal art, remind us how many fine singers were with Norman Granz at some stage during their careers. In addition to the big names like Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Anita O'Day, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, Dinah Washington, and Billie Holiday, others who are either not as famous or usually associated with this music are represented. Maggie Whiting does "Let's Begin" with Russ Garcia's orchestra and an unidentified tenor sax sounding much like the way Stan Getz was playing during this period. Getz made an album with Garcia's orchestra backing him the same year that Whiting recorded this tune, 1960. Getz is also present with Helen Merrill's on her sophisticated, sensuous rendering of "Yesterdays." Illustrating how well the music from a genius like Kern can be readily adapted to about-singing style is Cassandra Wilson's 1988 boppish rendition of "I'm Old Fashioned," with Terri Lyne Carrington's modern drumming sharing the stage with Wilson. Morgana King's light, feathery voice does justice to the classic "Bill," and Blossom Dearie's tasteful, breathy sound fits very nicely with the coy "I Won't Dance." Arguably the finest arrangement of "The Way You Look Tonight" is included with Ella Fitzgerald backed by Nelson Riddle from the Songbook series, which gave Fitzgerald's career a big boost. It's fitting and proper that Fred Astaire is on the album, given that he introduced many of the popular tunes from the era when Kern, Cole Porter, and Irving Berlin were laying the foundation for the Great American Songbook. Astaire reprises "The Way You Look Tonight," which he introduced in the 1936 film Swing Time. All of this good music on one CD makes a fine addition to any collection.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/22/1994
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • UPC: 731452382726
  • Catalog Number: 523827
  • Sales rank: 203,570

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Fred Astaire Vocals, Track Performer
Louie Bellson Drums
Terri Lyne Carrington Drums
Jimmy Cleveland Trombone
Blossom Dearie Piano, Vocals, Track Performer
Billy Eckstine Vocals, Track Performer
Herb Ellis Guitar
Ella Fitzgerald Vocals, Track Performer
Urbie Green Trombone
Plas Johnson Tenor Saxophone
Jo Jones Drums
Barney Kessel Guitar
Morgana King Vocals, Track Performer
Joachim Kühn Piano
Helen Merrill Vocals, Track Performer
Anthony Ortega Alto Saxophone
Oscar Peterson Piano
Lonnie Plaxico Bass
Arthur Prysock Vocals, Track Performer
Jerome Richardson Baritone Saxophone
Paul Smith Piano
Lucky Thompson Tenor Saxophone
Dinah Washington Vocals
Margaret Whiting Vocals, Track Performer
Cassandra Wilson Vocals, Track Performer
Charlie Shavers Trumpet
Daniel Humair Drums
Hal McKusick Alto Saxophone
Nick Travis Trumpet
Harvey Leonard Piano
Bob Bain Guitar
Felix Slatkin Violin
Anita O'Day Vocals, Track Performer
Quentin Jackson Trombone
Clarence "Sleepy" Anderson Piano
Louis Armstrong Vocals, Track Performer
Victor Arno Violin
Israel Baker Violin
Danny Bank Baritone Saxophone
Billie Holiday Vocals, Track Performer
Ray Brown Bass
Larry Bunker Vibes
Red Callender Bass
Clark Terry Trumpet
Joe Comfort Bass
Don Elliott Bongos, Mellotron
Don Fagerquist Trumpet
Frank Flynn Drums
Ernie Furtado Bass
Barry Galbraith Guitar
Bernie Glow Trumpet
Milt Hinton Bass
Osie Johnson Drums
Armand Karpoff Cello
Harry Klee Woodwind
Joe Koch Woodwind
Edgar Lustgarten Cello
Joe Mondragon Bass
Mulgrew Miller Piano
Dick Nash Trombone
Nelson Riddle Conductor
Erno Neufeld Violin
Ralph Pollack Drums
Lou Raderman Violin
George Roberts Bass Trombone
Paul Robyn Viola
Nathan Ross Violin
Sarah Vaughan Vocals, Track Performer
Wilbur Schwartz Woodwind
George Seaberg Trumpet
Tommy Shepard Trombone
Shorty Sherock Trumpet
Marshall Sosson Violin
Ann Mason Stockton Harp
Alvin Stoller Drums
Bobby Tucker Piano
Gerald Vinci Violin
Champ Webb Woodwind
Alex Beller Violin
Eleanor Slatkin Cello
Victor Bay Violin
Barbara Simons Viola
Lee Young Drums
Carroll Lewis Trumpet
Tommy Pederson Trombone
Alex Neimann Viola
Tom Mitchell Bass Trombone
Technical Credits
Jerome Kern Composer
Chris Albertson Liner Notes
Jean-Philippe Allard Producer
West Arkeen Composer
Norman Granz Producer
Dorothy Fields Composer
Garcia Producer
J.J. Johnson Composer
Nelson Riddle Arranger
Axl Rose Composer
Bob Shad Producer
Kiyoshi "Boxman" Koyama Producer
Del James Composer
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