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It's Better With a Band [Bonus Tracks]
     

It's Better With a Band [Bonus Tracks]

by Barbara Cook
 
Barbara Cook established her second career as a nightclub and concert singer with her 1975 Carnegie Hall debut and the album At Carnegie Hall that was culled from it by Columbia Records. She followed two years later with a Columbia studio set, As of Today. By 1980, she and the major label had

Overview

Barbara Cook established her second career as a nightclub and concert singer with her 1975 Carnegie Hall debut and the album At Carnegie Hall that was culled from it by Columbia Records. She followed two years later with a Columbia studio set, As of Today. By 1980, she and the major label had parted ways, but her performing career was as successful as ever. So, she returned to Carnegie Hall on September 14, 1980, with a new show, this time recorded by the Moss Music Group for 1981's It's Better With a Band. As the title suggested, Cook had augmented her accompaniment for the occasion. Musical director/pianist Wally Harper was still on hand, of course, but so were 15 other musicians, including three horns, three reeds, a percussion section, a string quartet, and a harp. That was just enough instrumentation, and just varied enough, to give her the suggestion of a big band here or an orchestra there. And she and Harper used that variety in a varied selection of songs. Although Cook's background was in the musical theater, she did not feel bound to perform only show tunes. On the contrary, she reached back to the Tin Pan Alley of the 1920s and '30s for two standards co-written by Maceo Pinkard, "Them There Eyes" and "Sweet Georgia Brown," while also making her own series of contemporary pop songs including Nilsson's "Remember," Melissa Manchester's "Come in From the Rain," and Laura Nyro's "I Never Meant to Hurt You." And, with Harper stepping in as composer, she introduced some specially written material that included in-jokes about her career for the benefit of her audience. Harper's novelty "The Ingenue," with lyrics by David Zippel, for instance, was a comic lament in the style of a Gilbert & Sullivan patter song about the travails of being an ingénue (as Cook had been), among its complaints, "Movie roles you live to play/They give to Shirley Jones to play" (as the producers of the film version of The Music Man did after Cook originated the co-starring part of Marian the librarian on-stage). Best of all was a medley of four Leonard Bernstein songs that somehow made its way from the reverent "Simple Song" to the racy "I Can Cook, Too," a journey that worked because Cook was capable of making it and taking her listeners along. In 2002, DRG Records reissued It's Better With a Band. With the greater time available on CD, the new version was 14 minutes longer, adding five songs performed in the show but left off the 1981 LP: Harper's introductory "Sing a Song With Me," Peter Allen's "Inside," Sylvia Fine's "Lullaby in Ragtime," Jerry Herman's "Marianne" from the musical The Grand Tour, and Harper's "Another Mr. Right Left." Also, with the exception of Noël Coward's "If Love Were All," which was placed at the end, the songs were re-sequenced to reflect the actual running order of the concert.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/24/2002
Label:
Drg
UPC:
0021471147520
catalogNumber:
91475

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barbara Cook   Primary Artist,Vocals
John Beal   Electric Bass,Double Bass
Mort Bullman   Trombone
John Frosk   Trumpet
Hank Jaramillo   Drums
Leo Kahn   Violin
Steve Little   Percussion
Sue Pray   Violin
Brooks Tillotson   French Horn
Sidney Weinberg   English Horn,Oboe,Tenor Saxophone
Gene Moye   Cello
Michael Spivakowsky   Violin
Wally Harper   Piano
Jim Mitchell   Banjo,Guitar
Red Press   Clarinet,Flute,Bass Clarinet,Alto Flute,Piccolo,Alto Saxophone
Sally Foster   Harp
Sam Pilafian   Tuba,Soloist

Technical Credits

Leonard Bernstein   Composer,Liner Notes
Stephen Sondheim   Composer
Irving Berlin   Composer
Melissa Manchester   Composer
Harry Nilsson   Composer
Laura Nyro   Composer
Noël Coward   Composer
Peter Allen   Composer
Carole Bayer Sager   Composer
Luther Henderson   Orchestration
Jerry Herman   Composer
Ben Bernie   Composer
Betty Comden   Composer
Adolph Green   Composer
Tom Jung   Engineer
Joe Raposo   Composer
John Wilson   Liner Notes
David Zippel   Composer
Jeff Gans   Cover Design
Wally Harper   Composer,Producer,Music Direction
Lucas Deaver   Art Direction
Sylvia Fine   Composer
Mack Schlefer   Orchestration
Hal Prince   Liner Notes
Maceo Pinkard   Composer
Kenneth Casey   Composer
Doris Tauber   Composer
William Tracey   Composer
Bill Brohn   Orchestration
Stephen Schwartz   Composer
Dan O'Leary   Producer
Jeffrey S. Herbert   Cover Photo

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