Isn't It Romantic: The Standards Album

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Nearly 50 years into his recording career, Johnny Mathis still sounds golden. Whether purring a perennial ballad or lightly swinging a standard, Mathis remains one of America’s prime vocalists, by now a true master of his understated art. Romantic this album may be, but gooey it never is. Mathis is too subtly propulsive a singer, even at subdued tempos, for things to ever lag. The remarkable sweetness of his voice and easy-as-it-goes phrasing coat imperishable songs that include “Cottage for Sale,” “Almost like Being in Love,” and Jobim’s gorgeous “Dindi.” And hear him swing “Day by Day” and “This Can’t Be Love,” both tracks enlivened by Tom Scott’s saxophone solos. A ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - William Pearl
Nearly 50 years into his recording career, Johnny Mathis still sounds golden. Whether purring a perennial ballad or lightly swinging a standard, Mathis remains one of America’s prime vocalists, by now a true master of his understated art. Romantic this album may be, but gooey it never is. Mathis is too subtly propulsive a singer, even at subdued tempos, for things to ever lag. The remarkable sweetness of his voice and easy-as-it-goes phrasing coat imperishable songs that include “Cottage for Sale,” “Almost like Being in Love,” and Jobim’s gorgeous “Dindi.” And hear him swing “Day by Day” and “This Can’t Be Love,” both tracks enlivened by Tom Scott’s saxophone solos. A ballad version of the British Invasion hit “There’s a Kind of Hush” makes a lovely surprise, as does the inclusion of a closing duet with Ray Charles on “Over the Rainbow,” a performance included on Charles’ final album, Genius Loves Company. Accept no substitutes--this is how a modern "standards" album should sound.
All Music Guide - John Bush
Although a good number of Johnny Mathis' performances have become standards in the pop songbook, and he's recorded hundreds of classic love songs during his career, there were still a few he'd left behind -- even after nearly half a century of singing. Isn't It Romantic: The Standards Album, his first non-Christmas recording of the millennium, found him choosing ten intimate evergreens around which to wrap his velvety voice, still a marvel approaching his 70th birthday. Around the same time singers from a variety of genres had jumped on the standards bandwagon -- lured by Rod Stewart's surprising success interpreting the classic American songbook -- and Mathis' project focuses on the same type of material. There are a few qualities, however, that separate him from the competition. His long mastery singing love songs is one, and his comprehensive knowledge of the pop canon is another the last would be, of course, that wonderful voice. His choices for the material on Isn't It Romantic are excellent, all of them natural fits for both his voice and his persona. The most natural for his voice is Jobim's mid-'60s Brazilian standard "Dindi," long an exemplar of what it means to have warmth in a song. The most natural for his persona is "There's a Kind of Hush," which recaptures the naïveté and wonder Mathis exuded on the best performances of his career such as 1957's "Wonderful! Wonderful!". The arrangements consist of a core small group backed by orchestral flourishes, and although they contribute very little they also keep the focus on Mathis' voice.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/4/2009
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 886974895329
  • Catalog Number: 748953
  • Sales rank: 88,320

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Isn't It Romantic (3:45)
  2. 2 Love Is Here To Stay (4:41)
  3. 3 Day By Day (2:40)
  4. 4 Dindi (4:10)
  5. 5 There's A Kind Of Hush (4:12)
  6. 6 This Can't Be Love (2:52)
  7. 7 Cottage For Sale (5:15)
  8. 8 Almost Like Being In Love (3:39)
  9. 9 The Rainbow Connection (3:40)
  10. 10 Over the Rainbow - Ray Charles (4:52)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Mathis Primary Artist, Vocals
Ray Charles Vocals
Gary Foster Tenor Saxophone
Tom Scott Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Soloist
Bruce Dukov Concert Master
Chuck Berghofer Bass
Jacqueline Brand Violin
Jorge Calandrelli Piano, Conductor
Darius Campo Violin
Dave Carpenter Bass
Luis Conte Percussion, Latin Percussion
Stephen Erdody Cello
Berj Garabedian Violin
Julie Gigante Violin
Greg Huckins Baritone Saxophone
Patricia Johnson Violin
Roland Kato Viola
Armen Ksadjikian Cello
Michael Lang Piano
Warren Luening Trumpet
Katia Popov Viola
Harry Shirinian Viola
Ramon Stagnaro Guitar
Joe Stone Oboe
Chauncey Welsch Trombone
Gregg Field Drums
Gayle Levant Harp
Christina Soule Cello
Natalie Leggett Violin
Timothy Landauer Cello
John A. Reynolds French Horn
Guillermo Romero Violin
Paul Klintworth French Horn
Eun Mee Ahn Violin
Horia Moroaica Violin
Samuel Formicola Viola
Robin Olsen Violin
Michael Patricia Violin
Victoria Miskolczy Viola
Phillip Levy Violin
Tamara Hatwan Violin
Lily Ho Chen Violin
Raymond Tischer Viola
Brian O'Connor French Horn
Technical Credits
George Gershwin Composer
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Kenny Ascher Composer
John Burk Producer
Sammy Cahn Composer
Jorge Calandrelli Arranger, Producer, Audio Production
Larry Conley Composer
Aloysio de Oliveira Composer
Ira Gershwin Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim Composer
Jay Landers Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Alan Jay Lerner Composer
Marco Marinangeli Engineer
Don Murray Engineer
Geoff Stephens Composer
Axel Stordahl Composer
Paul Weston Composer
Paul Williams Composer
Gregg Field Engineer
Terry Howard Producer
Frederick Loewe Composer
Herbert Waltl Producer
Nancy Donald Art Direction
Ray Gilbert Composer
Les Reed Composer
Willard Robison Composer
Vlado Meller Mastering
Seth Presant Engineer
Edward Blau Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Jorge Calandrelli at his best !

    Jorge Calandrelli at his best !

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mathis at What He Does Best!!

    While no one--including Johnny Mathis--would ever mistake the balladeer for a Jazz singer, he has always had a musical and social pedigree steeped in the genre. He doesn't specifically sing Jazz, but a close listen reveals that he phrases like the best of Jazz singers. ISN'T IT ROMANTIC places Mathis precisely where he has always done his best work: singing Jazz-influenced Traditional Pop. The title cut, along with LOVE IS HERE TO STAY, and THERE'S A KIND OF HUSH keep Mathis in his trademark lush romantic territory. Additionally, he included the often excluded prelude to COTTAGE FOR SALE and delivers Jobim's DINDI in a soft samba tempo. DAY BY DAY, THIS CAN'T BE LOVE, and ALMOST LIKE BEING IN LOVE are performed in mid-tempo to a decidedly upbeat swing. Even Mathis' duet with Ray Charles (OVER THE RAINBOW) works well in this package, in spite of the fact that it's previous release on Charles' last output (GENIUS LOVES COMPANY, 2004) is barely a year old and a rather obvious marketing ploy. Backed by a solid quintet led by the understated piano of Mike Lang, along with a full orchestra arranged by Jorge Calandrelli, ISN'T IT ROMANTIC is one of Mathis' most seamless and thematically cohesive efforts in years; it resounds with the Jazz and Standards roots that have underpinned all of his vocal performances and served his audiences so well for nearly fifty years.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mathis Magic

    Whenever I am feeling blue, I just put in a Johnny Mathis CD and I start to feel better.This man is a legend and the most romantic man alive. This new CD is amazing as is his voice. I love Johnny and always will. If you want a great,romantic CD with songs that you can enjoy and words you can understand just pick up a Johnny Mathis CD, it doesn't matter which one, all are great and you won't be sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Dreamy

    Great songs sung by the worlds most romantic singer. His voice sounds better than ever. Fabulous Fabulous!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews