Ira Gershwin Revisited [Bonus Tracks]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Like the other entries in Ben Bagley's series of "revisited" collections, this one, devoted almost exclusively to songs with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, investigates lesser known titles instead of just recycling the familiar hits. This means a relatively small contribution from Gershwin's primary collaborator, his brother George Gershwin, whose music is heard in only three selections. One of those adds the "almost" to the initial sentence. Bagley has chosen to include a performance of what he calls "one of George's finest forgotten melodies," "On My Mind the Whole Night Long," from the musical revue George White's Scandals of 1920, which features lyrics not by Ira ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Like the other entries in Ben Bagley's series of "revisited" collections, this one, devoted almost exclusively to songs with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, investigates lesser known titles instead of just recycling the familiar hits. This means a relatively small contribution from Gershwin's primary collaborator, his brother George Gershwin, whose music is heard in only three selections. One of those adds the "almost" to the initial sentence. Bagley has chosen to include a performance of what he calls "one of George's finest forgotten melodies," "On My Mind the Whole Night Long," from the musical revue George White's Scandals of 1920, which features lyrics not by Ira Gershwin, but by Arthur Jackson. "I couldn't resist," Bagley writes. "I'm certain Ira won't mind." Bagley is surely correct, since the album as a whole resurrects so many excellent Ira Gershwin lyrics. But he might have wished that there were more musical consistency. Bagley has chosen largely from two eras of Gershwin's writing, the 1920s (three songs) or the late '40s/early '50s (seven), and the music contributed by such composers as Burton Lane, Harry Warren, Vernon Duke, George Gershwin, and Kurt Weill varies considerably, as do Dick Hyman's arrangements, veering back and forth from a '20s jazz style to the lush movie music of the '50s. There are no songs that sound like they should be ranked among Ira Gershwin's best, even though there are several that are clearly the minor efforts of a master, such as "Sunny Disposish," which demonstrates the lyricist's willingness to fragment words in the manner of the better known "'S Wonderful," and "A Rhyme for Angela," essentially a wordsmith's inside joke about which names can be rhymed easily and which can't. As usual, Bagley assembles a talented cast led by Blossom Dearie and Margaret Whiting, but also includes some journeyman stage performers who know their way around the material. [For the 1992 CD reissue, a new cast was assembled to add an extra five tracks. Dody Goodman, Paula Lawrence, K.T. Sullivan, Robert Marks, and Arthur Siegel, accompanied by a piano trio, essayed numbers from two flop shows with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. First, there was 1946's Park Avenue (72 performances), which closed before an Original Broadway Cast album could be recorded. So, nobody outside the theater got to hear such gems as "Don't Be a Woman If You Can" (here rendered by the lively trio of Goodman, Lawrence, and Sullivan raving for over six minutes) and "My Son in Law," both featuring witty Gershwin lyrics set to music by Arthur Schwartz. It was Gershwin's final Broadway show. Second was 1928's Treasure Girl (68 performances), a Gershwin brothers project represented here by the poignant ballad "Where's the Boy" and a medley of "Gotta Rainbow," "Feeling I'm Falling," and "What Am I Here For."]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/1/1995
  • Label: Painted Smiles
  • UPC: 721742001352
  • Catalog Number: 135

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Give a Girl a Break (4:07)
  2. 2 It Happens Every Time (2:47)
  3. 3 Sunny Disposhish - Blossom Dearie (2:43)
  4. 4 In Our United State (4:03)
  5. 5 On My Mind the Whole Night Long (4:39)
  6. 6 You'd Be Hard to Replace - Blossom Dearie (2:34)
  7. 7 Shoes with Wings On (2:25)
  8. 8 Applause (4:05)
  9. 9 Boy Wanted (3:35)
  10. 10 I Don't Think I'll Fall in Love Today - Blossom Dearie (3:40)
  11. 11 He Hasn't a Thing Except Me (2:50)
  12. 12 A Rhyme for Angela (3:58)
  13. 13 If Love Remains (2:44)
  14. 14 Swing Trot - Danny Meehan (4:09)
  15. 15 Don't Be a Woman If You Can - K.T. Sullivan (6:20)
  16. 16 For the Life of Me - K.T. Sullivan (2:23)
  17. 17 My Son in Law (3:12)
  18. 18 Where's the Boy - K.T. Sullivan (2:16)
  19. 19 Treasure Girl Medley - K.T. Sullivan (2:59)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Blossom Dearie Track Performer
Dick Hyman Musical Direction
Margaret Whiting Track Performer
Dody Goodman Track Performer
Arthur Siegel Track Performer
K.T. Sullivan Track Performer
Paul Lawrence Track Performer
Ethel Shutta Track Performer
Danny Meehan Track Performer
Robert Marks Track Performer
Mary McCarty Track Performer
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Kurt Weill Composer
Dick Hyman Arranger
Vernon Duke Composer
Arthur Siegel Arranger
Ira Gershwin Composer
Burton Lane Composer
Arthur Schwartz Composer
Harry Warren Composer
Ben Bagley Director, Liner Notes, Casting
Philip Charig Composer
Robert Marks Arranger
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