Mathis on Broadway

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Cohen
Johnny Mathis extends his reign as America's premier balladeer with MATHIS ON BROADWAY, the velvet-throated singer's first anthology of show tunes in four decades. The legendary 64-year-old crooner has seemingly stopped time on this delightful collection culled from some of the Great White Way's biggest hits of the last 20 years. Kicking off with a jaunty "On Broadway," from SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ, the eclectic program includes Stephen Sondheim's exquisite "Loving You" from 1994's PASSION, the heartrending "Bring Him Home" from LES MISERABLES, the African-flavored percussive worldbeat of The Lion King's "They Live In You" and JEKYLL & HYDE's delicately wistful "Once Upon ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Cohen
Johnny Mathis extends his reign as America's premier balladeer with MATHIS ON BROADWAY, the velvet-throated singer's first anthology of show tunes in four decades. The legendary 64-year-old crooner has seemingly stopped time on this delightful collection culled from some of the Great White Way's biggest hits of the last 20 years. Kicking off with a jaunty "On Broadway," from SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ, the eclectic program includes Stephen Sondheim's exquisite "Loving You" from 1994's PASSION, the heartrending "Bring Him Home" from LES MISERABLES, the African-flavored percussive worldbeat of The Lion King's "They Live In You" and JEKYLL & HYDE's delicately wistful "Once Upon a Dream." Guests include Betty Buckley, the vocal ensemble Forever Plaid, and Nell Carter, who adds a soulful simmer to "Seasons of Love" from the Pulitzer Prize-winning RENT. With Mathis sounding this reenergized, it's now up to contemporary Broadway to provide him with more quality songs.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Though Johnny Mathis has recorded many individual songs from Broadway musicals over the years, the last time he devoted an entire album to them was 1960's The Rhythms and Ballads of Broadway, and the geography of the street has changed a lot since then. The Broadway of 2000 is a tourist attraction boasting a variety of kinds of musicals that were not available 40 years ago: oversized European operettas like Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera and American copycats like Jekyll & Hyde; Disney extravaganzas like The Lion King; retrospective anthology shows like Fosse; and rock musicals like Rent, along with revues of old rock & roll songs like Smokey Joe's Café. It is music from such disparate sources that Mathis combines on Mathis on Broadway, fearlessly crossing barriers of style and quality. Wisely, he gets the ringers out of the way up front. "On Broadway," despite its title, is a 1963 pop song interpolated in Smokey Joe's Café, but it comes from an era Mathis is comfortable with and it serves as an excellent introduction. "Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries" is a Broadway song, first heard in the 1931 edition of George White's Scandals, though its reason for being here is its inclusion in Fosse, and Mathis' playful reading is accompanied by the quartet from the show Forever Plaid. The rest of the album consists of songs actually written for and included in musicals of the '80s and '90s, and Mathis successfully smoothes over the wildly divergent styles, singing Stephen Sondheim's "Loving You" from Passion as though it were a simpler, more tuneful song than it is, using "They Live in You" from The Lion King as a exotic change of pace, lowering the key of "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables so that it no longer sounds like a vocal exercise for a castrato. One of Mathis' talents has always been an ability to incorporate many different styles into his own; for a non-rock singer who emerged in the rock era, it's been a necessity. Here, that talent serves to make the music of Frank Wildhorn, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Jonathan Larson sound like it all belongs on the same musical street, just as those composers' shows have occupied the same square mile of property in New York City. It's a sleight of hand, of course, and that may be one reason why Mathis on Broadway is so short, running only 33 minutes, which, for a new, full-priced CD, is very skimpy. Maybe Mathis just couldn't find any more songs without exploding the album's fragile concept. Okay, it's more likely that song publishing royalties kept the tune count down. In any case, the lesser talents among the composers -- Lloyd Webber, Wildhorn, Claude-Michel Schönberg -- owe Mathis a debt for making their music sound so good, while Sondheim can be grateful that Mathis makes him sound so accessible.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/25/2000
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 074646389720
  • Catalog Number: 63897

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 On Broadway (3:25)
  2. 2 Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries (2:45)
  3. 3 Loving You (2:48)
  4. 4 They Live in You (3:43)
  5. 5 Bring Him Home (3:23)
  6. 6 Children Will Listen/Our Children - Betty Buckley (5:46)
  7. 7 All I Ask of You (4:16)
  8. 8 Once upon a Dream (2:53)
  9. 9 Seasons of Love - Nell Carter (4:07)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Johnny Mathis Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Primary Artist, Vocals
Betty Buckley Track Performer
Alex Acuña Percussion
Rev. Dave Boruff Saxophone
Susan Boyd Choir, Chorus
Jorge Calandrelli Conductor
Paulinho Da Costa Percussion
Chuck Domanico Bass
Nathan East Bass
Jens Engel Vocals
Jim Gilstrap Choir, Chorus
Angie Jaree Choir, Chorus
Jon Joyce Choir, Chorus
Ronald Kunene Choir, Chorus
Rick Logan Choir, Chorus
Bobbi Page Choir, Chorus
Dean Parks Guitar
Joseph Powell Choir, Chorus
John "J.R." Robinson Drums
Neil Stubenhaus Bass
Sally Stevens Choir, Chorus
Efrain Toro Percussion
Jonathan Tunick Conductor
Carmen Twillie Choir, Chorus
Randy Waldman Piano, Keyboards
Maxine Willard Waters Background Vocals
Luther Waters Choir, Chorus
Oren Waters Background Vocals
Terry Wood Choir, Chorus
Hlengiwe Dlamini Choir, Chorus
Jason Graae Vocals
Lebo M. Conductor, Choir Conductor
Julia Waters Vocals, Background Vocals
William Ross Conductor
Lindiwe Dlamini Choir, Chorus
Leo Daignault Vocals
Lindiwe Hlengwa Choir, Chorus
Nell Carter Track Performer
Nandi S. Morake Choir, Chorus
Orin Walters Vocals
Nokukhanya Dlamini Choir, Chorus
Jorge Clandrelli Conductor
Ntombikhona DLamini Choir, Chorus
Anthony Manough Choir, Chorus
Philip McAdoo Choir, Chorus
Rema Webb Choir, Chorus
Ginger Freers Choir, Chorus
Jeffrey Polk Choir, Chorus
Megan Cavallari Choir, Chorus, Choir Conductor
Technical Credits
Robbie Buchanan Vocal Production Assistance
Jorge Calandrelli Arranger, Producer
Kevin Clark Engineer, Engineering
John Hendrickson Engineer
Jay Landers Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Charles Paakkari Engineer
Doug Sax Mastering
Al Schmitt Engineer, Engineering
Jonathan Tunick Arranger, Producer
Randy Waldman Arranger, Programming, Producer, Engineer, Engineering
Frank Wolf Engineer, Engineering
Lebo M. Arranger, Producer, Choir Arrangement
Peter Fletcher Contributor
Bill Smith Producer, Engineer
William Ross Arranger, Producer
Laura Grover Liner Notes
Christine Wilson Art Direction
Richard Jay-Alexander Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer
Lenny LaCroix Rehearsal Accompanist
John Sorenson Engineer
Alan Sanderson Engineer
Jenny Knotts Engineer
Matthew Della Pola Scoring Coordinator
Jorge Clandrelli Arranger, Producer
Ray Bardini Engineering
James McCrone Engineer
Megan Cavallari Arranger, Choir Arrangement
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mathis Starts New Millennium with a Winner!

    I love the choices that were made on this CD. Mathis chose well his singing partners, acquiring seasoned Tony Award-winning Broadway veterans to help him out on a couple of them. Nell Carter is from the musical 'Ain't Misbehavin'', even though folks my age probably remember her better as Joey Lawrence's mother-surrogate on the TV show Gimme A Break. Betty Buckley has done more Broadway than I can think of; like Ms. Carter, she became popular on TV, and people still remember her from the Eight is Enough TV series. But Ms. Buckley was, if I'm not mistaken, the original Grisabella in 'Cats', and she may have also played Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard. <P> Broadway songs are some of the best songs ever written, and four of these are particular favorites of mine. Seasons of Love is a wonderful, wonderful song, a thought-provoking song, and Nell Carter enhances the song beautifully. The medley with Betty Buckley to me gets mixed reviews. I much prefer Our Children, because the dual parts are so exquisitely blended, not to mention the wonderful piano work throughout. Life is a Bowl of Cherries is one of those songs that you think you're just absolutely going to hate, but surprisingly enough, I found it very charming! In fact, I say the Forever Plaid guys give Take 6 a good run for their money! And Once Upon A Dream is a beauty from a play I'm not at all familiar with! But my favorite song has to go to the Lion King's They Live In You...it is such a powerful song, and there is such personal meaning in it for me, and Mathis complements the South African singers wonderfully. I was so impressed at how well Mathis handled the South African expressions in the song, too; I've tried studying African languages and the pronunciation is very, very difficult! Is there nothing Mathis can't handle? Not on this CD. <P> The production work is clean and pure, and for a change there's NO SYNTHESIZED MUSIC! It's all live orchestration with real instruments, and you immediately hear the difference and the quality, as I have always maintained this is the best accompaniment for the voice of Mathis. And Mathis himself, well, he sounds better than he has in years. Whether this is due to technical wizardry or vocal mastery, a it's long overdue and very welcome treat. <P> Now, my only real complaint is the value of this CD..how much you get for the money. I realize that Broadway songs are of necessity very short, given the original venue for which they are performed. Gotta tell ya, though, a 33-minute CD in this day and age is practically a sin. There was room for at least 5 more songs on here! It's as if Columbia was planning to release this on LP format. An ironic thought ten years after the last Mathis LP, Mathis sings Ellington, which also happens to be his longest CD recording to date at 57 minutes! Tsk. When will they ever learn to stop wasting the consumer's money? <P> This same thing happened with the Better Together duets album...they left off so many viable contenders for this concept. How about a few more Andrew Lloyd Webber songs? Think of it...just imagine Mathis and Betty Buckley together again on Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Unexpected Song' from Song and Dance, or they could have dueted for 'Love Changes Everything' from Aspects of Love! What about Mathis alone singing 'High Flying, Adored' from Evita, or maybe even 'I Am the Starlight' from Starlight Express? Surely they would have fallen into the twenty-year time frame. I think these songs would have been great additions AND they would have beefed this recording up considerably. <P>This is one CD that DIDN'T have to 'grow on me' for a change! It's a real winner! Sadly, I cannot give five stars to a recording this short. It's criminal, these things cost too much. I give 5 stars for Mathis' performance, 2 stars for the fact that this should have been marketed (and priced) as a CD extended play single with extra tracks! That totals 7, divide by 2 to get 3.5, which rounds up to four

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Mathis on Broadway. Johnny at his finest yet again.

    Mathis on Broadway is a excellent collection of broadway tunes come to life with the voice of one of the worlds greatest singer, Johnny Mathis. This is truly one of the best I have ever heard. These songs, Children will listen, They live in you, Loving you are song with so much life and passion and soul that they go straight to the heart, with a voice like mathis what else can they do? Excellent music! Johnny has touched broadway again.

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