Something to Sing About

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Lisa Kirchner's album Something to Sing About on first and even second glance has all the look of a straightforward collection of songs by American composers, including Ives, Corigliano, Adams, Rorem, Del Tredici, Harbison, Bolcom, Barber, and Leon Kirchner the singer's father, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, but in fact, all the composers in that list also won the prize, as well as some from more of a pop tradition like Robert Telson and Wynton Marsalis. Closer inspection of the credits, though, offers a clue that something is up; the accompanying instruments include piano, alto sax, accordion, bass, guitar, and drums. But you really have to hear the songs to get a ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Eddins
Lisa Kirchner's album Something to Sing About on first and even second glance has all the look of a straightforward collection of songs by American composers, including Ives, Corigliano, Adams, Rorem, Del Tredici, Harbison, Bolcom, Barber, and Leon Kirchner the singer's father, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer, but in fact, all the composers in that list also won the prize, as well as some from more of a pop tradition like Robert Telson and Wynton Marsalis. Closer inspection of the credits, though, offers a clue that something is up; the accompanying instruments include piano, alto sax, accordion, bass, guitar, and drums. But you really have to hear the songs to get a handle on the album's uniqueness. Kirchner is a jazz singer whose voice has the character of a cabaret chanteuse, so her style is not at all like that of the kind of bel canto-trained singer for whom most of these songs were written. Although her vocal quality is jazz-inflected, she sings the songs basically straight-on except for some improvised riffs thrown in during transitions and sometimes adding repeats, just as they were originally written. Her accompanying ensemble, however, may or may not reflect composers' original version, so the overall effect is definitively more jazz than classical. In these performances, the songs sound not like crossover -- classical music dressed up as jazz -- but like they were written as jazzy pop tunes, even though, paradoxically the tunes are presented essentially unaltered, just as the composers wrote them. It's initially disconcerting, particularly in familiar songs like Barber's "Under the Willow Tree," where Barber has one truly weird modulation in the transition but this version has a dizzying string of truly weird modulations before settling down. But, it works. As odd as the premise sounds and as surprising as the initial impressions are, these performances sound like persuasive, frequently beguiling, renditions of jazz standards. Kirchner's dusky voice is seductive and wears well, and she sings with easy spontaneity and intuitive musicality. Much credit goes to the band for the inventiveness of its accompaniment. The sound is clear, immediate, and very clean. The voice is foregrounded in a style more characteristic of pop than classical. The album should interest fans of cabaret singing and crossover, as well as adventurous fans of classical vocal music.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/10/2011
  • Label: Albany Records
  • UPC: 034061126829
  • Catalog Number: 1268
  • Sales rank: 250,271

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 In Autumn (3:11)
  2. 2 Prince of the City (4:20)
  3. 3 Fort Tryon Park (1:48)
  4. 4 Sigh No More Ladies (2:30)
  5. 5 Suicide in C Minor (5:11)
  6. 6 Early in the Morning (3:47)
  7. 7 Leila's Song (4:15)
  8. 8 Crazy Love, Crazy Heart (5:26)
  9. 9 The Little Horses (2:35)
  10. 10 Acrostic Song (4:26)
  11. 11 Barefoot (3:50)
  12. 12 Lily (3:05)
  13. 13 Strange (6:35)
  14. 14 Photograph Song (3:45)
  15. 15 Night Make My Day (3:21)
  16. 16 Sophie Rose-Rosalee (4:07)
  17. 17 Under the Willow Tree (2:56)
  18. 18 Long Time Ago (4:45)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Lisa Kirchner Primary Artist, Vocals
William Schimmel Accordion
Dwayne Burno Bass
Ron Jackson Guitar
Sherman Irby Flute, Alto Saxophone
Xavier Davis Piano
Willie Jones III Drums
Vicente Archer Bass
Joel Fan Piano
Technical Credits
Samuel Barber Composer
William Bolcom Composer
Aaron Copland Composer
John Corigliano Composer
John Harbison Composer
Gian Carlo Menotti Text
Ned Rorem Composer
John Adams Composer
William Schimmel Composer, Text
Ives Composer
Paul Chihara Composer
k.d. lang Text
Wynton Marsalis Composer
Alan Silverman Mastering
Stanley Silverman Composer
William Shakespeare Text
Robert Telson Composer, Text
Arnold Weinstein Text
Murray Horwitz Text
Anthony Ruotolo Engineer
Leon Kirchner Composer, Text
Brian Montgomery Engineer
Lisa Kirchner Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Lyric Adaptations, Text
Richard Foreman Text
June Jordan Text
Anthony Legge Liner Notes, Back Cover Photo
Robert Hillyer Text
Lewis Carroll Text
David Del Tredici Composer
William M. Hoffman Text
Sue Kessler Cover Photo, Tray Card
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