If I Sing: The Songwriters Album

If I Sing: The Songwriters Album

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Albums on which songwriters sing their own songs, particularly songwriters who are not also professional singers, are always interesting to listen to. Jamie deRoy, who served as executive producer of this collection, includes some examples of such songs, but she is actually going for a broader (which is to say, less focused) selection; in fact, she seems to have… See more details below

Overview

Albums on which songwriters sing their own songs, particularly songwriters who are not also professional singers, are always interesting to listen to. Jamie deRoy, who served as executive producer of this collection, includes some examples of such songs, but she is actually going for a broader (which is to say, less focused) selection; in fact, she seems to have wanted to include a little of everything. So, for example, we have lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr., accompanied on piano by his partner, composer David Shire, singing the album's title song, an autobiographical tribute to both of the songwriters' fathers that was used in their 1989 Off-Broadway musical revue Closer than Ever. Maltby doesn't have the vocal range that Shire's melody calls for, but his strain to hit the notes makes the already heartfelt lyrics all the more affecting. Despite the string section orchestrated by Tom Kochan, the track has a semi-professional feel. It's the kind of performance one generally hears on a songwriter album, but it's in the minority here. Not that there aren't other show music songwriters hawking their own wares, including Andrew Lippa, Maury Yeston, Lucy Simon, Shelly Markham, Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez, Gretchen Cryer, and Stephen Schwartz. But these people, all younger than Maltby and Shire, came of age during or after the '60s, when Bob Dylan and the Beatles changed the old paradigm of non-performing songwriters and non-writing singers. Simon, of course, performed professionally with her sister Carly Simon as the Simon Sisters; Cryer was the star of I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road in addition to writing the songs with Nancy Ford, among them the Off-Broadway hit's best-known song, "Old Friend," included here; and Schwartz has released several solo albums. Even when it comes to nominal non-performers like Lippa and Yeston, however, the ante clearly has been raised. Their tracks, "Live Out Loud" and "Nowhere to Go But Up," respectively, are not mere publishing demos, but fully realized recordings, and both demonstrate good voices. But this is not just an album of show songs. DeRoy also has thrown in a handful of pop and cabaret artists, among them Julie Gold, who sings her Grammy-winning standard "From a Distance," and Larry Gatlin, who contributes his hit "All the Gold in California." Interestingly, in their sleeve notes, both writers boast of how successful these songs were -- Gatlin says his bought him a farm, while Gold proudly reveals that hers has been used in greeting cards, among other things. This comment actually uncovers the real weakness of deRoy's selection of material. There's a lot here that you could put on greeting cards. Many of these performers sound like they're auditioning compositions to be covered by James Taylor or Carole King in about 1972. The melodies are sweet, and the lyrics are even sweeter, full of romantic devotion, family feeling, and other sincere sentiments. DeRoy provides very little to contrast this, and when she does, with Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez's "Tear It Up and Throw It Away," a song cut from Avenue Q, it's to give us an odious piece of sarcasm like so many of the other songs that actually made it into the show. (In this one, one puppet blithely urges another to disregard a jury summons.) Otherwise, insulin shock may set in for a listener long before the album is over.

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Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2006
Label:
P.S. Classics
UPC:
0803607064525
catalogNumber:
645
Rank:
172854

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Steve Bargonetti   Acoustic Guitar
Larry Gatlin   Guitar,Vocals
Rex Benicasa   Percussion,Drums
Emily Bindiger   Vocals
Gretchen Cryer   Vocals
Margaret Dorn   Vocals,Background Vocals
Julie Gold   Piano,Vocals
Sara Krieger   Background Vocals
Kevin Kuhn   Guitar
Andrew Lippa   Piano,Vocals
Paul Ostermayer   Flute
John Redsecker   Drums
Andy Resnick   Violin
Paul Rolnick   Background Vocals
David Shire   Piano
Lucy Simon   Piano,Vocals
Maury Yeston   Piano,Vocals
Robert Lopez   Vocals
Lanny Meyers   Piano,Keyboards
Ragga Petursdottir   Violin
Jim Vincent   Vocals
Todd Johnson   Vocals
Billy Mitchell   Vocals
Dave Philips   Electric Bass
Sylvia Davanzo   Violin
Douglas Romoff   Bass
Larry Salzman   Guitar
Krystof Witek   Violin
Dennis Deal   Vocals
Todd Sullivan   Violin
Karen Mack   Background Vocals
Shelly Markham   Piano,Vocals
Pauline Kim   Violin
Kyle Gordon   Background Vocals
Stephen Schwartz   Piano,Vocals
Carol Lee Goodgold   Background Vocals
Allison Miller   Drums
Rick Jensen   Piano,Vocals
Jamie deRoy   Vocals
Kenny Dybisz   Flute,Oboe
Wanda Glowacka   Cello
Adam Hyman   Viola
John Loehrke   Bass
Katherine Cherbas   Cello
Marcia Pelletiere   Vocals
Rosie Vallese   Vocals
Danny Miller   Cello
Nancy Ford   Piano
Jessica Meyer   Viola

Technical Credits

Billy Eric   Engineer
Karen Mason   Contributor
Larry Gatlin   Composer,Author
Judith Viorst   Composer
Emily Bindiger   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Author
Gretchen Cryer   Composer,Author
Margaret Dorn   Producer
Julie Gold   Composer,Author
Brian Koonin   Engineer
Tommy Krasker   Executive Producer
Andrew Lippa   Composer,Author,Orchestration
Richard Maltby   Composer
Paul Rolnick   Producer
David Shire   Composer,Author
Alan Silverman   Mastering
Lucy Simon   Author
Maury Yeston   Composer,Author
Tom Kochan   Orchestration
Dan Lawrence   Engineer
Robert Lopez   Composer
Lanny Meyers   Composer,Orchestration
John Demarco   Contributor
Barry Kleinbort   Artistic Director
Melanie Vaughan   Contributor
Shelly Markham   Author
Danny Hopler   Engineer
Stephen Schwartz   Composer,Author
Bart Migal   Engineer
Penny Fuller   Contributor
Rick Jensen   Composer,Author
Jamie deRoy   Composer,Executive Producer,Author
Scott Coulter   Contributor
Rod Hausen   Orchestration
David Ippolito   Contributor
Marsha Norman   Composer
Lennie Watts   Contributor
Clifton Guterman   Editorial Coordinator
Mary Bond Davis   Contributor
Nancy Ford   Arranger,Composer

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