Brian Stokes Mitchell

Brian Stokes Mitchell

4.3 3
by Brian Stokes Mitchell
     
 

It's no surprise that the premier leading man of the Broadway stage has a flair for great theatrical song. On his debut album as a solo artist, this veteran of such acclaimed revivals as Kiss Me Kate, Man of La Mancha, and the televised version of South Pacific takes on meaty repertoire from the pen of such giants as Gershwin ("How Long Has This Been…  See more details below

Overview

It's no surprise that the premier leading man of the Broadway stage has a flair for great theatrical song. On his debut album as a solo artist, this veteran of such acclaimed revivals as Kiss Me Kate, Man of La Mancha, and the televised version of South Pacific takes on meaty repertoire from the pen of such giants as Gershwin ("How Long Has This Been Going On"), Bernstein ("Something's Coming"), and Coleman ("The Best Is Yet to Come"), as well as the contemporary master Adam Guettel ("How Glory Goes"). But pride of place goes to Stephen Sondheim, whose masterpieces -- "Pretty Women," "Losing My Mind," "Another Hundred People" (skillfully interpolated with the Ellington theme song "Take the A Train"), and "Being Alive" -- are given gloriously robust and emotive readings by Stokes Mitchell. It's every Broadway musical performer's dream to establish a foothold with a larger listening audience; judging from this on-target project, this exuberantly talented singer has a clear shot at it.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Brian Stokes Mitchell's first solo album has been a long time coming and, as revealed in the annotations, a long time in preparation; recording spread over nearly six years, from April 2000 to January 2006. As Mitchell notes, during that period he was busy doing other things, notably appearing in Broadway musicals and performing on their cast albums. As he is too modest to point out, he also became Broadway's biggest male star by reinventing such shows as Man of La Mancha and South Pacific. Not surprisingly, his debut album revisits more Broadway material, which is given fresh orchestrations by several hands, including his own. But while his singing is always expressive and elastic, the results are not always impressive. "Something's Coming" from West Side Story, which leads things off, is given an arrangement that would place it seamlessly on a Lionel Richie album of the 1980s, and other songs, such as "The Best Is Yet to Come" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?," have been done so many times by now that there may be no good new ways to do them. Even a master of reinvention like Mitchell can only add his renditions to the already huge pile. More effective are the less familiar songs he can dig his teeth into, such as the vibrant "Life Is Sweet" and the gospel-tinged closer, John Bucchino's "Grateful." Another success is the intermingling of Billy Strayhorn's Duke Ellington anthem "Take the 'A' Train" with Stephen Sondheim's "Another Hundred People." But Mitchell shies away from doing big, dramatic performances here. There's no "This Nearly Was Mine," as there was in his South Pacific, and no "The Impossible Dream" either. He has a lot more voice than he displays on this album, and it may leave his musical theater fans wondering why more of his abilities were not used.
Billboard - Kerri Mason
Brian Stokes Mitchell is...a performer with enough appeal to make a new generation love theater.... It's a different take on the same old material by an artist capable of doing it in the expected way.
San Francisco Chronicle - David Weigand
[Mitchell] has a big voice and a big talent that, for the most part, translate very well to his first solo CD.

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Product Details

Release Date:
06/06/2006
Label:
Sony Legacy
UPC:
0828768098028
catalogNumber:
80980

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Brian Stokes Mitchell   Primary Artist,Conductor,Keyboards,Vocals
Mark Egan   Acoustic Bass
Scott Kreitzer   Woodwind
Walt Weiskopf   Woodwind
Marva Hicks   Choir, Chorus
Steve Bargonetti   Guitar
Kamau Adilifu   Trumpet
Randy Andos   Trombone
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Kenny Berger   Woodwind
Herb Besson   Trombone
Brian Brake   Drums
Ben Brown   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Joe Cocuzzo   Drums
Barry Danielian   Trumpet
Don Sebesky   Conductor
Andy Ezrin   Piano
David Finck   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Yaron Gershovsky   Piano
Brian Grice   Drums
Juliet Haffner   Viola
Aaron Heick   Woodwind
Regis Iandiorio   Violin
Birch Johnson   Trombone
Tony Kadleck   Trumpet
Zev Katz   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Jeanne LeBlanc   Celli
Adriane Lenox   Choir, Chorus
Jay Leonhart   Bass,Acoustic Bass
Rob Mathes   Guitar,Piano,Conductor,Keyboards
Lee Musiker   Piano
Sandra Park   Violin,Concert Master
Jerry Peel   French Horn
Shawn Pelton   Drums
Carol Pool   Violin
Mike Renzi   Piano
Greg Ruvolo   Trumpet
Andy Snitzer   Saxophone,Woodwind
Yergenia Strenger   Violin
Scott Wendholt   Trumpet
Buddy Williams   Drums
Shelley Woodworth   English Horn,Oboe
Laura Frautschi   Violin
Jim Hynes   Trumpet
Edward Aaron   Celli
Richard Brice   Viola
Avril Brown   Violin
Dan Warner   Guitar
Marion Pinheiro   Violin
Todd Reynolds   Violin
Jeff Kievit   Trumpet
Dave Rogers   Trumpet
Charles Pillow   Saxophone,Woodwind
Daniel Culpepper   French Horn
Margaret Magill   Violin
Xin Zhao   Violin
Larry Hochman   Conductor
Ralph Farris   Viola
Sharon Yamada   Violin
Capathia Jenkins   Choir, Chorus
Shayna Steele   Choir, Chorus
Daniel Panner   Viola
Danielle Greaves   Choir, Chorus
Marco Lienhard   Shakuhachi,Woodwind
Jeff Nelson & Covenant   Trombone
Nick Cords   Viola
Vivek Kamath   Viola
George Flynn   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Chester Gregory   Choir, Chorus
Elizabeth Lim Dutton   Violin
Susan Heerema   Violin
Nyjah Moore Westbrooks   Choir, Chorus
Wen Qian   Violin
David Andrew Mann   Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Woodwind
Michael Roth   Violin
Bill Hayes   Percussion

Technical Credits

John Bucchino   Arranger
Joe Arlotta   Engineer
Jim Czak   Engineer
Don Sebesky   Arranger,Orchestration
Arthur Friedman   Engineer
Rob Mathes   Arranger,Orchestration
Mike Renzi   Arranger
Doug Sax   Mastering
Wayne Warnecke   Engineer
Larry Hochman   Orchestration
Jan Folkson   Engineer
Robert Hadley   Mastering
Michael McElroy   Vocal Arrangements
C. Duane Coleman   Composer
Brian Stokes Mitchell   Arranger,Producer,Orchestration,Vocal Arrangements,Audio Production
A. Judson Green   Composer

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Customer Reviews

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Brian Stokes Mitchell 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
The man is one of the best baritones Broadway's ever seen and this CD shows why. Not only does he sing, but he arranged and/or conducts almost every song!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This premier CD is an example of a true musical genius....such as we seldom hear. not only is his voice exceptional but his arrangements give a whole new flavor to these songs. He has surely taken Gershwin, and all others to new heights...Best of luck to him in all he attempts...