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Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall
     

Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall

4.5 6
by Rufus Wainwright
 

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It was daring, nervy, and nearly sacrilegious, but Rufus Wainwright pulled it off. Re-creating, song by song, Judy Garland's famed 1961 Carnegie Hall show -- one of the most legendary of classic showbiz performances -- Wainwright brought his own special magic to the famed stage, reaffirming his status as a contemporary icon while paying loving tribute to his muse.

Overview

It was daring, nervy, and nearly sacrilegious, but Rufus Wainwright pulled it off. Re-creating, song by song, Judy Garland's famed 1961 Carnegie Hall show -- one of the most legendary of classic showbiz performances -- Wainwright brought his own special magic to the famed stage, reaffirming his status as a contemporary icon while paying loving tribute to his muse. This exuberant and affecting show includes such Garland signature numbers as "The Man That Got Away," "After You've Gone," "Do It Again," and , of course, "Over the Rainbow." Wainwright may not sound anything like Judy, but what matters most is that he's tapped into the heart of her unique and generous performance style. The Carnegie Hall show was then brought to the London Palladium, the site of another monumental Garland appearance, and there Wainwright won over a new audience, as seen on a separately available DVD.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
If Release the Stars displayed Rufus Wainwright as a weary, wannabe expatriate who was (in his own words) "so sick of America," then Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall -- released just seven months later -- shows him falling in love with the country all over again. Few things are as American as the American Songbook, which Wainwright tackles here with energy, camp, and a sly wink. Reprising the entirety of Judy Garland's 1961 concert at Carnegie Hall, he regains much of the momentum that was lost in Release the Stars' slower moments, performing live with a brisk 36-piece orchestra and several family guests. Perhaps there are people better suited to this task than Wainwright, singers who more closely embody the innocence that Garland always seemed to radiate in spite of her growing addiction to booze and Benzedrine. But Wainwright is obviously enamored with Garland -- who, in addition to her role as one of America's greatest female entertainers, has also become an enduring icon in postwar gay history -- and he revels in the glamour and glitz of her 45-year-old set list. These songs hail from a golden era dotted with trolley cars, Cadillacs, and glitzy jazz clubs, an era in which Wainwright never lived but still has the ability to convey. The secret rests in his vocals, which rise and fall between notes with all the smoothness of a slide guitar. Steeped in opera music and Tin Pan Alley tunes, Wainwright doesn't fall prey to the trappings of a contemporary pop singer, but rather comes across as someone much older. He sings in a fail-safe tenor with colorful vibrato, unafraid to tackle several songs in their original keys and rarely, if ever, missing a note. His infrequent mistakes are mostly lyrical or rhythmic in nature -- a flubbed line here, a botched intro there -- and they're met with applause from the audience. So while the performance isn't perfect, particularly toward the end of the show (where, after two hours of performing swing tunes and jazz standards, Wainwright is understandably low on steam), it's still nice to hear the singer in his element, crooning about dinging trolleys and zinging heartstrings with flamboyancy that only he can muster.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/04/2007
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0602517516724
catalogNumber:
001031802
Rank:
15923

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Rufus Wainwright   Primary Artist
Bucky Pizzarelli   Guitar
John Oddo   Piano
Jim Saporito   Drums
Kate McGarrigle   Track Performer
Martha Wainwright   Track Performer
Richard Sarpola   Bass
Stephen Oremus   Conductor,Track Performer,Musical Direction
Christian Hebel   Concert Master

Technical Credits

Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Frank Filipetti   Engineer
Phil Ramone   Producer
Kate McGarrigle   Liner Notes
Rufus Wainwright   Executive Producer
J. Greer   Composer
Jack Pierson   Art Direction,Cover Photo
Stephen Oremus   Director
John Mark Harris   Engineer
Christopher Jahnke   Adaptation

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Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ThomasDC More than 1 year ago
For most gay men, Judy Garland at Carneige Hall is the must in any record collection, regarless of your musical taste. She is the corner stone to an entire generation of men who grew up in the 50s and 60s (such as I). It really is an excellent recording, won the Grammy for album of the year in '61/'62. Judy was loved by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin...and they were not gay men. Rufus does this performance great justice, and he is the perfect icon to do so...he is as neurotic as she was, so why not him...could not see Elton doing it (although his size would be more in line with hers at the time). Rufus delivers his own stories in between every song , which does make the album special. His voice is pitch perfect and the arrangements are on target. His tribute to her is worth every penny of this CD; you will understand why he pays tribute to her. Buy the orignal as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was introduced to this CD by a wonderful man with great taste in music. Now I have completely fallen in love with these songs. This musician is outstanding, his persona, the way his voice has many different ranges not to mention his vibratto is impeccable. You listen to this CD and you remember Judy Garland in her movies such as "Meet Me In St.Louis, "A Star is Born" and of course "Oz". His intensity and enthusiasm is overwhelming. Even his storytelling about when he was younger, he felt like he was Dorothy on good days and the Wicked Witch on bad days. The way he invites you into his life, you can almost relate to his own childhood memories. You fall under his spell with his mesmorizing, hypnotic voice. As you listen you can visualize "the man that got away". If you never heard of Rufus Wainwright, this is the CD for you. For "Judy" fans this is the ultimate must have.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago