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101. What Women Want (2000 Film)
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102. Live East/West: Birdland/Yoshi's
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103. Porgy & Bess
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104. Late Night At The Cafe Carlyle
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105. Last Quarter Moon
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106. Blossom Dearie
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107. The Capitol Years
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108. Come Dream with Me
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109. Dreaming Wide Awake
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110. Live: A Fortnight in France
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111. The Best of Nina Simone [PolyGram]
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112. Christmas with the Rat Pack
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113. 16 Most Requested Songs of the
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114. Ray Charles and Betty Carter/Dedicated
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115. Rsvp
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116. Watching the Snow (Dig)
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117. Verve Unmixed 2
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118. Woody's Winners: 20 Classic Tracks
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119. Return to Me:Music from the MGM
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120. Vibrate

101. What Women Want (2000 Film)
list price: $13.98
our price: $13.98
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Asin: B000054A5C
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5073
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Mel Gibson may learn What Women Want by listening in on their thoughts, but it doesn't take an eavesdropper to know what moviegoers expect in a romantic-comedy soundtrack. Nancy Meyers, the movie's director and soundtrack album executive producer, has compiled an interesting mix of old and new, borrowed and blue. The emphasis is on the pre-rock age of big-band swing, whether it's performers from that era or others emulating them. Three cuts from Frank Sinatra (arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle) and entries fromSammy Davis Jr., Nancy Wilson, and Tony Bennett sew up the soulful crooning of the velvet age. Lou Rawls and the Temptations replace their modern soul grooves with lush orchestrations that perfectly fit the mood. Only teeny-dance-bopper Christina Aguilera and alternative rocker Meredith Brooks,who chime in with a couple of recent hits, sound woefully out of place. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars A taste of Sophistication, Romance and Excitement!
The only thought that came to my mind when I watched this movie was "I *have* to get this soundtrack!" I recommend this soundtrack to those who don't even like Jazz... it is the must have for dates, parties, or driving in the car. The movie was fantastic and I truly believe it was because of this soundtrack! It's a great touch of spontaneity for the guys and a great touch of soft and soothing music for the women. It's a great combination of music and a great collection at that! Buy it, listen to it and enjoy it! You won't be disappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Romance, pure and simple!
Great movie, GREAT soundtrack! How can you go wrong with these classics? I couldn't wait to buy the soundtrack after seeing this movie....how nice to have music that will conjure up an image of MEL! Romance, pure and simple!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful soundtrack
Some of the greatest artist are one this soundtrack. It has a great bluesy, jazzy trend. The only bad points are the two modern artist that disrupt the flow of the albumn. This is a great albumn to have a romantic evening to or just kicking it on a lazy Sunday morning. Just skip the two modern songs.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't listen to the bad reviews
I watch the movie and liked it alot. Have no idea why all these bad reviews are being made. My advise, ignore the bad reviews and watch the movie because you might be surprise. It's a simple and nice movie to seat down to watch and have some light hearted fun.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT!
A warm, fun movie that produced a fantastic soundtrack. These songs are classics and this is a perfect cd to break through any dreary day. ... Read more


102. Live East/West: Birdland/Yoshi's 2CD Set
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Asin: B0007R8EMM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7078
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars Magic, pure magic--tell me more and then some
I picked up my copy of East/West after attending Jacqui Naylor's sensational performance at the Plush Room (April 2005). So we had the benefit of an up-close in-person treatment of many of the songs in this album--actually a double disc delight. We then took the album with us on a three day trip the next day--so we got a good chance to savor it. Here's what I think.

Quality production, top rank musicians, a singer who is threatening Diana Krall's supremacy in versatility and is head to head with Karrin Allyson in singing the blues. The venues on the East and West coasts are known to jazz people everywhere--great idea to combine them. If you go to jazz shows then you'll know that these rooms bring out the best in the artists. Nevertheless, there is nothing to replace seeing Jacqui and her group in person. Superb.

I grabbed the West disc for my car, my wife grabbed the East disc for her car--what a way to ensure family harmony! Among the many, many songs, you'll realy enjoy "Don't Let the Bastard Get You Down" and "Thank You Baby". The live audience loved Jacqui's introduction when she told about KCSM playing the Bastard song and getting phone calls prtesting the B-word! (In the Bay Area!!)

This talented lady does June Christy one better and that is saying something. After the live show I told her she had an instinct for the blues. Then I heard East/West and there it was! Thanks Jacqui!

Here's an "inside story" which you might enjoy. I emailed Jacqui before her Plush Room show and asked her to sing "Tell Me More, and More, and Then Some" which is on her first album ("Jacqui")and she obliged in the live show. Let me tell you, that brought the house down. AFTER the show I was a block away and people were STILL telling me how they loved the song and the show. So buy "Jacqui" and buy "East/West". In other words, we have a star on our hands, ladies and gents.

2-0 out of 5 stars only partially convincing
Not long ago, apparently after someone at the label read my review of Madeleine Peyroux's "Careless Love" on amazon.com, Ruby Star Records sent me a promo copy of Jacqui Naylor's double CD "Live East/West Birdland-Yoshi's."Appreciative of this gesture, I was determined to give the album a chance, but after a half dozen spins where my opinion went from mildly pleased (first listen, in the car on the way home from work) to bored and disinterested (sixth listen), I've decided this recording just isn't to my taste.

I don't want to turn Cranky Music Critic here and start picking these performances apart bit by agonizing bit, but there are a few outstanding, just-not-right details that I can't seem to get past.And anyone who's going to wade into the forum of vocal jazz should be prepared for this kind of scrutiny, so here goes.

Typical of jazz (and jazz-wannabe) artists since the sixties, Naylor and her band work hard to reconcile Tin Pan Alley standards with more modern rock and pop songs, as well as a few originals.Arranger Art Khu does pretty well with the jazz-oriented arrangements, but the folkier settings are out of his depth.Except for a couple of self-consciously "jazzy" vocal inflections, I really dig Naylor's cover here of "Me and Mister Jones," mostly because of the backing the band gives her and the smooth way her voice fits into the loose groove.But her take on "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" is superfluous in light of Carole King's version on Tapestry.Covering Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" for the reason, as she says in a girlish voice in her intro, of injecting some much-needed political awareness, rings absolutely hollow, especially in light of the blandness of the performance that follows.Nina Simone singing "Mississippi Goddam" this ain't.

Naylor's got a pleasant, warm singing voice for the most part, and she's at her best when she sings straight and doesn't try to show off.I have to single out her cover of Gershwin's "But Not For Me," however, for an all-too-revealing misstep in the song's preamble.The couplet "just try it/and I'll start a riot" should be sung with "riot" pronounced in the common manner of "ry-it."Apparently missing the joke completely, Naylor sings it "ry-OT," which blows the rhyme.Have you ever heard anyonepronounce the word that way?

This seemingly minor point lays bare a pervasive disingenuousness that I hear throughout these two discs.Like a lot of vocalists in this area, Jacqui Naylor just doesn't "get it," she lacks humor and seems to be on the outside looking in, dressed in the trappings of a jazz singer but only doing a moderately successful job of pulling off the act.Hopefully in the future she will settle into the sound of her own voice -- which is, again, very appealing when she sings straight -- and not be compelled to apply distracting stylistic flourishes.Technique, after all, should never eclipse feeling.That Vogue calls Jacqui Naylor "the new voice of jazz and pop" demonstrates that Vogue knows much more about image than music.Then again, image and music may be so interchangeable to the modern sensibility that Vogue probably has a point.If you like your "jazz" very light and in the background, you'll find this to be perfectly good music.Those who pay closer attention are directed to Madeleine Peyroux's "Careless Love" CD or just about any jazz vocal recording made before 1960.

5-0 out of 5 stars Soul-infused jazz/pop:"Acoustic smashing"
If you like jazz but think it's too slow or boring, Jacqui Naylor is the solution.This album combines pop and rock tunes with jazz, and breathes new life into tired old standards.The depth of her voice and tone are warm and soothing, and the melodic background singers add the sweet frosting to the cake.Art Khu's smoking piano solos leave you wondering if there were any piano keys he didn't hit.And John Evans makes the bass come alive; the bassline isn't just background on this record.The 2-CD album has lots of songs (24), with a good balance of originals (both folkish and funky), standards, and "acoustic smashing" tunes combining several elements and styles. Compared to her first 3 albums which were mostly slow sad songs, this one has more happy, fun songs you can tap your foot to.Bravo!

5-0 out of 5 stars You Rock
I love this CD!I found myself humming "Thank you Baby" all day after listening to the CD.I really enjoy Jacqui's mixture of old and new especially the "compilation" songs (Black Coffee).Jacqui's voice is sweet and pure.Mixed with jazzy tunes and tender notes this is definitely one of my most favorite CD's to listen to.

4-0 out of 5 stars Blending Many Good Things
Jacqui Naylor's double live CD is an exquisite menu of tunes recorded at a respective pair of the world's foremost jazz venues: Birdland and Yoshi's.As a new listener to Ms. Naylor, the difficulty is making a meal from all the choices.There's a lot to enjoy as she covers many diverse styles.To continue the restaurant metaphor, it'll take many return visits to appreciate the scope of the offering.

Saying that, the song selection is very good throughout.Not many artists can truly pull off personalized versions of classics from Talking Heads to Rogers & Hart to James Taylor to Gamble/Huff/Gilbert to Stephen Stills to Pink Floyd.Ms. Naylor does, and that leads to her sound.

Some vocalists are known for the purity of their voices, such as Ella and Barbra. Others, such as Van Morrison and Sinatra, are best known by their precise phrasing. Others are recognizable for their distinct texture, such as Louis Armstrong and Tom Waits.

Then there are those -- amongst whom I include Ms. Naylor -- who combine bits of many masters.There's nothing particular about her voice that instantly defines her, but stylistically she smartly adapts her formidable range to the mood and meaning of the songs.The results command you to reevaluate songs you think you've know years.

I'll be putting these CDs on for repeated listenings and quite certain each time will rebveal a deeper appreciation for Ms. Naylor. ... Read more


103. Porgy & Bess
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Asin: B0000046Z5
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2727
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Getting the two most personable voices in jazz to sing an hour's worth of George Gershwin's opera Porgy & Bess (Ella doing all the female parts, Satchmo all the male) was a good idea, but not quite as great as it sounded. Armstrong savors the down-and-dirty Charlestonisms that inspired the cadences of the music and lyrics, and they fit his happy rasp like an old shoe; Fitzgerald, conversely, sounds almost prissy every time she has to sing the word "ain't," though her melodic genius gets Gershwin's bold, supple tunes over. The arrangements are full-throttle Broadway, with a few leaps into Dixieland (including some fine Armstrong trumpet solos), but the disc works best when the vocalists break character and let their jazz side out. --Douglas Wolk ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Masterpiece!
No matter what your musical taste, it's hard to imagine that you won't love this combination. Ella & Louis are, of course, the standards by which all other jazz vocalists learn and are judged; the music is Gershwin's great masterpiece (and one of the masterpieces of American music in general); ravishingly orchestrated, lovingly sung, and oh by the way, swingin' like Tiger Woods. Just the best in the biz, that's all. If you're a jazz aficionado or a Gershwin fan, you'll find a wealth to love and appreciate; if you're a casual listener, count on it!...This is music that'll just make you happy. Get it and enjoy it for the rest of your life.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Ella c.d. ever!
This is my favorite Ella Fitzgerald cd! While Louis Armstrong's singing is gravelly and rough, Ella is smooth as silk-- they make a perfect combo. Although nearly every song is absolutely gorgeous, Ella's renditions of "Bess, You is My Woman Now", "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'" and "I Wants to Stay Here" are to die for.

5-0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece
This is one of the 10 greatest jazz records made. As mentioned in the liner notes, for trumpet music of this style, Louis Armstrong had no peer. The contrast between the gravelly voice of Armstrong and the super sweet voice of Ella wears very well. The production was excellent, and frankly the famous opera stars on other records than often blast out Porgy and Bess don't do much for me. This is by far my favorite version of some really fantastic music by Gershwin, who is one of the greatest American composers.

Young people will find this music as corny as Frank Sinatra, but it really is tremendous music and will stand the test of time.

5-0 out of 5 stars ELLA AND LOUIS
The chemistry between ELLA and LOUIS was great.It was not evident to do PORGY and BESS with them,but it works splendidly.There is a minor setback for me:ELLA can't do MY MAN's GONE NOW the way SARAH VAUGHAN used to sing it,but the rest of the disc is so enjoyable that one can easily pass that over.I am happy that NORMAN GRANZ the producer succeeded in convincing LOUIS to tackle that project.It is really moving to hear him sing and play his instrument on those tracks,especially I GOT PLENTY OF NOTHIN' and THERE'S A BOAT LEAVING SOON FOR NEW YORK.If you have to choose among the many recordings of PORGY and BESS available,you have to go for that one,even if of course,this is not the complete work.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ella + Louis + Gershwin? You do the math
They may have been the most unlikely pair of entertainers to sing songs from an operatic production. Ella, while supremely talented, was not operatic in her style. Louis was far from that genre also. However, they took those songs and, as they always had, made them their own. That's why this is a successful musical equation. ... Read more


104. Late Night At The Cafe Carlyle
list price: $17.98
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Asin: B000003D3A
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 8180
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Quite good, but...
The music is great and the setting is intimate, but Bobby Short's delivery ocassionally annoys me. He has a tendency to break into an abrupt piercing warble and his phrasing seems choppy to me. It's not enough to ruin the album, but it can be distracting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Bobby Short at His Best
Owning nearly all of Bobby Short's albums, this is the one I play the most. I love his style! He recorded at an actual preformance which added more intimacy to the of the album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Agree!
There cannot be a better night of classic American music than a Bobby Short gig at the Carlyle.

5-0 out of 5 stars SUBLIME!
This is Short at his best. There's no brass section to drown out his voice or his piano, and you can hear the audience at the Cafe Carlyle react to his performance. Short's interpretation, along with Beverly Peer's and Robert Scott's, never gets stale. You can listen to this CD a hundred times and hear new aspects each time. ... Read more


105. Last Quarter Moon
list price: $18.98
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Asin: B0006M4TXG
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 19548
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Even though she only co-writes a few songs per album, Norah Jones's success seems to have re-energized the women's singer-songwriter scene, and this isn't bad thing--there's a lot of great talent out there getting support because of Jones. Italian songwriter Chiara Civello is one of them. Her breathy but versatile voice allows her to do a convincing French café version of Suzanne Vega's "Caramel," a wispy torch ballad "Parole Incerte" (one of three songs sung in Italian), or do a dancing version of the bossa nova tune "Outono." Working through a dozen songs, Civello is supported by an acoustic-based band composed of studio ace Steve Gadd on drums, keyboardist Larry Goldings and a handful of jazz and Latin jazz players. More impressively, she co-wrote "Trouble" with the legendary Burt Bacharach. An auspicious debut from a singer that seems to have already charmed musicians, labels and musical legends, Last Quarter Moon is the tasteful work of a singer-songwriter with global perspective. -- Tad Hendrickson ... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars I hear more Diana Krall than Norah Jones ...
Chiara is bound to be compared to the mellow, understated sounds of Diana Krall and Norah Jones for good reasons.Chiara has song choices on this cd that are spectacular and mixes a flavorful variety of influences.Her intuitive sense of emotive and rhythmic music is remarkable.

My favorite tracks are "Here is Everything" and the track where she seems most vocally comfortable: "Outono".

The most astonishing aspect of the album is that seven of these strong and fascinating tracks Chiara wrote herself and co-wrote three including "Trouble" with Burt Bacharach (which admittedly is not a favorite song on the album despite his legendary presence - it's too wavering for my taste).

Maybe the reason it all works so seamlessly is the influence by producer Russ Titelman (Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Paul Simon) and the contingent of outstanding musicians like vocalist Daniel Jobim (yes from THAT Jobim family as in Antonio Carlos), Steve Gadd as drummer, Larry Goldings on organ and piano, Mark Stewart on cello, Miguel Zenon on a remarkable saxophoneand Ben Street on a light handed but distinctive bass to name a few.

My only reservation is the wispiness of her voice which is zen enough and pitch lovely enough to put her on par with Diana Krall and Norah Jones but not as profound or animated enough despite the similar less-is-more intensity. Don't read me wrong though - Chiara really has unique and lovely musical qualities nonetheless.

The cd is a keeper and keep an ear or an eye on her - she will be a jazz music presence for a long time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning, Sultry, Unassuming.....and Oh Yes! A Star!
Last night I went to Blues Alley in Washington D.C. I witnessed a Chiara Civello concert. WOWOWOWOWOW! What does this have to do with "Last Quarter Moon", Chiara's debut c.d? Well, if you want to know whether this is an artist that has staying power, or is she another who must hide behind production gimmicks to sound good.....she gets an 'A' for the former (that would be staying power) and nowhere in the vicinity of her name should the latter ever be mentioned.



What talent.....as a songwriter, she writes songs that bypass your intellect and explode in your heart. As a musician, well....how tasteful do you want your piano playing? With all of that star power (after all, the sign outside did say, "Tonight, Chiara Civello"), she presents herself during the performance as one of the band....but it is so clear from the outset that the audience's eyes are not going anywhere else unless she directs them subtly (which she does quite frequently throughout the performance) to one of the other musicians on the stage.

Her music is languid, salty, sensuous, pure, and lovely....never dumbed down but perfectly accessible....but not the kind of accessible that sounds tired after a couple of listenings....no indeed.....the more you hear, the more you are driven to hear....she takes you in and never lets you go......it has a Brazilian flavor but exudes unapologetically, many worthwhile influences such as Nancy Wilson and Flora Purim, although, like all great artists, what comes out is unmistakeably uniquely Chiara Civello, a one of a kind artist.

Lastly, I cannot imagine how one can improve upon her debut c.d. for arrangements, execution, and production (not to mention musicianship with the likes of Steve Gadd and one song she co-wrote with Burt Bacharach)....and then....that which we all came to see last night....that voice....that beautiful, sultry voice that cuts through the muddle of life and delivers the emotion that wells up inside of you because she writes like she is talking to you or with you....about things we have all felt and lived.....rather poetically but leaving no doubt that she is speaking to the heart of the matter.

There is not one throw away song on this c.d.....Not one! My two particular favorites are 'Everything' (the first cut on the c.d.) and 'Nature Song'. But then again, there is the last cut, 'I Won't Run Away', which she so ingeniously ends on an unresolved chord, leaving one to wonder, will she after all? Having been a fortunate witness to her live performance, I am convinced of this......if she does (run away, that is), she is taking us with her!

I realize I am putting myself way out there on this one. I guess if I were to boil it all down....these are reasons I like her. If they seem like reasons you too might like her, you really ought to do yourself a favor and pick up "Last Quarter Moon"! It will keep on giving back to you! Then, as soon as it is possible, go see her perform live.....you will be as smitten as I.....I guarantee it!

5-0 out of 5 stars A developing talent
Chiara has a very pleasant and beautiful voice. However, if this review were based only on her voice, I'd probably give her 4 stars. The fifth star is for her songwriting and song selection, which along with her smooth, pleasant voice far surpasses the current crop of superstar female nursery rhyme performers with their mechanical, childish melodies and canned music.
Chiara's music has substance. It's organic. On listening to it, one hears talent--real people with real instruments. There is a sophistication and musical charm that can only be achieved by a talented singer/musician... which Chiara Civello is. I look forward to her next works.

3-0 out of 5 stars A "Come Away With Me" wannabe
My attention to this album was drawn by the yellow sticker on the plastic, covering the c.d. case:

A STUNNING DEBUT FROM POP/JAZZ SINGER-SONGWRITER CHIARA CIVELLO:

"This record is haunting and she's fantastic.It really doesn't matter what she's singing about because her voice just captivates you.And 'The Wrong Goodbye'-HOLY COW-did she write that?"-Cindy Lauper

"This record is delicious.Chiara is potentially a huge singer-songwriter star...."-Burt Bacharach.

"...The best jazz singer of her generation."-Tony Bennett

With hype like that, I was intrigued.Is it worth all of that?

In a word, hellno.

Don't get me wrong; this is good.Chiara Civello has a strong, pleasant voice.Best jazz singer of her generation, though?Depends on how you define the word "generation", but I wouldn't say that right now she's as good as Norah Jones, Jane Monheit or Peter Cincotti, and all of them would have to be in the same generation.Her voice occasionally cuts out in her upper register, and she doesn't yet have the vibrancy in her lower register that "the best of her generation" should have.Fantastic songwriter?I'd give that label to Lorraine Feather or Rene Marie; but not to Ms. Civello, at least not at this time.

On this album, I'm partial to the tunes done in her native Italian, particularly "Ora" and "In Questi Giorni".And the arrangements are very nice, especially Suzanne Vega's "Caramel."

But ultimately, this album really reminds me of Norah Jones' "Come Away With Me."For this kind of hype, and with Verve's p.r. abilities, it ought to sell a bunch; and like Ms. Jones, Ms. Civello appears to have physical charisma.But both albums are well-done and pleasant, but ultimately fluffy.They both have been relegated to the "gone and almost forgotten" side of my c.d. carousel.

However, I will say that Chiara Civello has talent.She could become a superstar.I just hope that that happens based on developed talent, rather than on hype.RC

5-0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born
Chiara Civello is a new musical force to be reckoned with and her debut CD is a must have for those who want to get on this bandwagon early. Though some reviewers want to compare her to others, the wondrous thing about Chiara is that her voice and her talents are unique. Her songs, most of which she's written herself, are a beautiful mix of jazz and pop with an international flavor that demands serious attention. Her voice is strong, beautiful and her styling lyrical and unpretentious. I have been lucky enough to see her perform in small clubs a couple of times and she is dynamite in person! The best part is that she is only just getting started and you sense that the best is yet to come. Don't miss this CD! ... Read more


106. Blossom Dearie
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B00000478Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5762
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

That's her real name and this is her real voice, as fresh and sweet asthe darling buds of May--but never cloying or precious.Fittingly, there's abright, springtime theme running through this record, which includes "ItMight as Well Be Spring," "A Fine Spring Morning," and the CDbonus track "They Say It's Spring."And since Ms. Dearie had recentlyreturned from a few years in France in 1956 when she recorded this, her firstU.S. album, there are also some chansons in zee language of love:"Comment Allez Vous," "Tout Doucement," and theaforementioned "It Might As Well Be Printemps."The only thingmissing is "April in Paris."Dearie accompanies herself on piano,with Ray Brown (bass) and Jo Jones (drums)--and on some tracks a six-voicechorus.If Chet Baker and Betty Boop had a baby, she'd be Blossom Dearie--andthis first-rate album catches her in the springtime of her career. --JimEmerson ... Read more

Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars YOU NEVER HEARD OF BLOSSOM DEARIE???
Since the first days of late night talk shows, i.e., The Jack Parr Show, the name of Blossom Dearie has been dear to the hearts of all those who love a great piano, plus a great winning jazzy little voice. Jack Parr used to feature her on his show as often as she was in New York...not trotting around Paris or Australia.

Blossom Dearie used to record, I believe, on her own label and you had to order her records from her. I carried that address around for years and never had the money to order an album. I was in a music store a couple of years ago, and everyone heard me scream, BLOSSOM DEARIE!!! My husband came running to see what all the fuss was about...I had found my first Dearie album in the remainder bin.

We love her voice, the piano (which was how she started out...like Nina Simon...as a child prodigy pianist) is great and oh so original. We listen to this CD, Blossom Dearie Verve, Jazz Masters 51, so often, it's a wonder it isn't worn out. My favorites...Little Jazz Bird, Rhode Island is Famous for You (if you like puns, as I do, this is definitely for you!) and Someone to Watch Over Me. But then, I like all the songs she sings. Blossom makes you want to listen, sing along and dance all at the same time. If you like good music, good jazz and an endearing voice on albums that have chosen the all time favorites, you have to have the Jazz Masters 51 Blossom Dearie.

I can't think of anything else to say...except we have loved her music for about 40 years and are glad that she is being heard and enjoyed by so many new listeners. Blossom Dearie never goes out of style!

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT debut!!!
This is the first in a long line of wonderful albums Blossom Dearie cut for Verve; like many of her later albums it features her on vocals & piano with a swingin' small group (Ray Brown on bass, Jo Jones on drums, and Herb Ellis on guitar); four tracks also add a vocal chorus(which in only on the extra bonus tracks, not on the original LP release). The album is winsome & bright, and is consistantly enjoyable (some of the many highlights are a fine "Lover Man" and a hilarious "A Fine Spring Morning"); an enjoyable sung in French ("Comment Allez Vous", "It Might as Well Be Spring" & "Tout Doucement"), and her pronunciation is exellent: in fact Blossom Dearie's perfect diction is a highlight throughout. Every track a gem. A must buy.

This is a WONDERFUL, album: after you purchase this you might want to also explore another fine Dearie album_Once upon a Summertime_, with its classic readings of "Manhattan" & "Tea for Two".

5-0 out of 5 stars Come discover this enchanting jazz vocalist
If you're of generation-X, you may already be familiar with Blossom Dearie's whispery, gentle, almost childlike voice from her vocals on SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK (she sang "Unpack Your Adjectives" and "Figure Eight). I encourage you to pick up this album, her first released one, and find out what an incredible talent is, both at the mic and at the piano.

This is my personal favorite of her albums. The standards all swing gently, and Blossom adds a delicate sense of humor to many of the tunes, especially the playful "Everything I've Got." Other up-tempo stand-outs are "'Deed I Do," "I Hear Music," "You for Me," and my favorite from the whole album, the teasing "I Won't Dance." But she also slows it down in a beautiful rendition of "Loverman" and croons gentle on "Fine Spring Morning." She doesn't sing at all on "More Than You Know," but shows off her piano playing skills. On the bonus tracks, she gets sassy with "Blossom's Blues," and lets a six part vocal group tear into the bouncy "Johnny One Note."

This is a great introduction to this singularly talented woman (who still sings today, and still sounds great.) Pick it up, and you'll soon want all her albums.

5-0 out of 5 stars Dorris Day with a Soul
Doris Day was never cool. She had a "pleasant" voice that could ring sweet, but Blossom Dearie's light touch seduces her listeners without one ounce of saccharine. Her honest, unpretentious phrasing puts a huge grin on my face every time I hear her. She makes me feel as if I can sing freely myself through the imagination and the innocence of a child. I love her. She changes my mood without any drama. She interprets lyrics like a cool mom who knows the importance of fresh cookies and milk. Where have you been hiding Blossom?

5-0 out of 5 stars The sexiest thing I've ever heard
Blossom Dearie's "It Might as Well be Spring", sung in French, is without doubt the sexiest thing I have ever heard. Misty, romantic, drenched in ennui and melancholy, but a light touch maintained with that clear, pure voice. It makes me go weak at the knees. Like Billie Holliday only optimistic. Blossom can carry a torch, but make it seem like a light burden she might toss away on a whim. Jazz fans, get this. ... Read more


107. The Capitol Years
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Asin: B000002UWM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2109
Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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Including Sinatra's finest recordings from the most consistently accomplished era of his career, The Capitol Years includes three discs and 75 songs worth of swinging standards and bittersweet saloon pop, the music Sinatra made after his career and personal life had crashed and singing was all he had left. His masterful baritone and remarkable phrasing here work in perfect combination with arrangements that swing and swell to the heartbeat of loves lost and found. It is these performances for which Sinatra will be forever remembered, for surely, no one has ever created music more beautiful than this. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars For the Frank fan who owns all the albums
The problem with compilations is that they aim to please two different crowds: 1) the listener who wants a good introduction to the artist, including the big hits, and 2) the listener who owns just about everything the artist recorded, but is still searching for rare takes or unreleased items. This set is better suited to the second of the two. If you're just beginning to get into Sinatra's music, I suggest that you buy the great albums--"Songs for Swingin' Lovers" and "Only the Lonely" are a good start. Some of the songs from those albums are included here, but not always the best ones, and certainly not enough of them. The great singles like "Young at Heart" and "All the Way" are also here. But less essential tunes like "Our Town" and "Don't Like Goodbyes" might turn off a new Frank fan--and that's the last thing we want! There are some great rarities in this set--the first take of "One For My Baby" (with piano only, and probably the best version), "Here Goes" (a real swinger), and "I Couldn't Care Less." This set was released before Capitol got around to re-issuing all of the albums in the "Concepts" box set. So the albums which hadn't been re-released are given more consideration--there are so many tracks from the great "A Swingin' Affair" album, you might as well just buy the whole thing. Unless you're a big-time Sinatra collector, I would buy the original albums, and experience the thrill which people had when they first came out in the '50s.

5-0 out of 5 stars GREAT INTRO TO THE UNTOUCHABLE MR SINATRA!!!!
First things first.No one can touch the incredible artistry of Mr. Sinatra performing the greatest 20th century popular songs with the greatest arrangers.This 3-CD set is a fine intro,but just that,an intro.Believe it,there is something here for everyone.If you know just a few of Frank's later (late 60's on) recordings,after hearing this compilation,you will get a great music/song education.True a handful here,I don't care for.But..."Young at Heart","Put Your Dreams Away","Only the Lonely",and "One for My Baby (a new version here) are among the most exquisite ballads ever recorded. Even better are "I'm a Fool To Want You","Here's that Rainy Day",and "Angel Eyes",which become even more mind-blowing over the years.(There are many others which are not even on this set!). On the super charged swinging side "I've Got You Under My Skin" (obviously),the original incredible,and to me,only real Frank (or anyone else!) version.The blaring trumpet chorus of "The Song is You" is necessary for late night driving,"Just in Time",and "Come Fly with Me" Ditto!!!Check out "Here Goes",another thunping rouser,never even released before this set was issued! The swing version of "Night and Day","Lonesome Road",and "If I Had You" are also true classics.Given that the Chairman must have at least 500 classic individual recordings over 55 years,to get several dozen in one small collection is a treat.Even more amazing is the phenomenal amount on other Frank albums...Truly,his period between 1953-1967 is his best,and this CD covers some of the best of the 1953-1960 period.One more thing.These songs never get dated!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars The Capitol Years
Frank Sinatra is one of the finest vocalists of the 20th century. In fact one could put him in a very selct company, e.g., David Gahan, Elvis Presley and possible Pat Boone. The melodies are amazing in theitr complexity and the lyrics are witty and smart; and not meaningless like many song seem as of late. Highly Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hard To Be Critical, But ....
In a span of five years [1990-1995] Capitol/EMI chose to honour their most illustrious male singer with not one, but two multi-CD sets. Unfortunately, both of them ]the other is the 2-CD set Sinatra 80th - All The Best] contain essentially the same selections. In fact, not counting the very expensive box set, nothing released by Capitol has contained some 12 bona fide hit singles.

These are: Fairy Tale [the flip of Same Old Saturday Night and a # 13 on its own]; the double-sided 1956 hit Flowers Mean Forgiveness [# 21] and You'll Get Yours [# 67]; Five Hundred Guys [the flip of (How Little It Matters) How Little we Know and a # 73 on its own]; Johnny Concho Theme (Wait For Me) b/o You're Sensational and a # 75 in 1956; Your Love For Me [which backed Can I Steal A Little Love and reached # 60 early in 1957]; the 1957 double-sided hit Crazy Love [# 60] and So Long, My Love [# 74]; You're Cheatin' Yourself (If You're Cheatin' On Me), which reached # 25 in 1957; Mr. Success [# 41 in 1958]; Talk To Me [# 38 in 1959]; River, Stay 'Way From My Door [# 82 in 1960]; and Ol' MacDonald [# 25 in 1960].

Trying to find them in a quality CD is like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. So, with an added six tracks [perhaps some of the B-sides], wouldn't these make a dandy CD under the title "Long Lost Hits Of ...?"

In the meantime, this is the one you want in order to get most of the other Capitol hits, complete with a 68-page booklet containing liner notes by daughter Nancy [The Legacy - 8 pages], Pete Kline [The Capitol Years - 15 pages], and Will Friedwald [The Legend - 4 pages], a complete discography of the contents, a listing of his albums by Nancy, and track-by-track notes by Pete Kline and Ric Ross [12 pages], in addition to numerous photographs.

The AAD sound quality is excellent.

5-0 out of 5 stars An almost perfect introduction to Sinatra
Although the casual fan may be disappointed to find Sinatra's familiar hits from the 1960s missing from this marvelous set, this actually represents Sinatra at his very best. Although Frank had become a huge popular success in the 1940s, very little of his work from that period remains especially listenable. Although he possessed a marvelous tenor voice, the arrangements and the songs themselves frequently left more than a little to be desired. In the 1950s, however, a number of factors coalesced to bring about a string of the finest popular vocal albums in American history. First, record technology developed to where the LP became the new standard for musical distribution. This allowed the grouping of a number of songs on a single disc, and Sinatra responded with a succession of superb songs grouped loosely around a theme. Second, Sinatra signed with Capitol records where he worked with a number of superb producers, especially Nelson Riddle. Bringing Sinatra's voice fully to the front of the production, the arrangements kept the orchestra completely in the background, supporting and enhancing Sinatra's singing in spectacular fashion. Third, Sinatra finally overcame some serious vocal problems that perhaps could have threatened his singing career. After healing, he lost a bit off the top of his range, but his voice became much darker and more expressive, more of a tenor with baritone overtones instead of a pure tenor. The result was one of the great periods, if not the greatest, that any popular singer has ever known.

Anyone interested in popular music ought to own some portion of these great Capitol recordings. One way--and the best way--is simply to buy every one of the Capitol albums that Sinatra did. They are all superb, but getting them all can become a tad expensive. The other way would be to get this utterly superb excellent anthology of Sinatra's Capitol recordings. It isn't perfect. Some songs are inexplicably missing. For instance, one of my favorite Sinatra songs, his extraordinary version of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things" (with one of the best arrangements of the period), somehow didn't make it into this collection. But as a healthy sampling of the period, this set is really hard to beat: enough selections to give you a truly representative overview of Sinatra's greatest period, but not so much as to overwhelm someone who is only wanting to get just one Sinatra album.

The album is also fascinating for being able to track the development in studio technology in the 1950s. By the end of the fifties, sonically recording came up to a level that isn't appreciably behind where it stands today. Any good recording from 1958 sounds pretty much as good as any recording from 2003. But the same wasn't true of 1952, and the earliest songs in this collection aren't quite as sharp and vivid as the later cuts. Also, on some of Sinatra's high notes, some of the treble gets cut out on the earlier recordings. I wasn't alive at the time, but having heard my grandfather's records from the thirties and forties and my father's from the fifties reveals that it had to be an exhilarating period for the lover of recorded music. Sinatra clearly was one of the first to benefit from these dramatic improvements in technology.

In short, this is glorious music produced by the finest vocal stylist the United States has ever produced. I would especially recommend it to anyone who finds Sinatra's Rat Pack and post-Rat Pack years to be somewhat off-putting. By the end of the sixties his voice started losing more and more of its range and timbre, but here we have Sinatra at the top of his vocal prowess working with producers and arrangers perfectly attune to his skills. ... Read more


108. Come Dream with Me
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Asin: B00005AWDF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4191
Average Customer Review: 3.82 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001

Retro darling of the jazz vocal, Jane Monheitappears with her sophomore effort, Come Dream with Me, followingthe splash of Never Never Land witha long-reaching ripple. At 23, Monheit is remarkably gifted not only ofvoice, but with lyrical interpretation and genuine feel for a song,singing, for example, the oft-recorded "Somewhere over the Rainbow"from inside the song, making it a thing of understated beauty, richpurity, and charming hopefulness. Pianist Kenny Barron reprises hisrole as swing-daddy pianist, while the remainder of the instrumentalensemble is made up of younger though no less able jazzbos. Largelythus far an interpreter of standards, with strong emphasis on theballad (stunningly lovely renditions of "Blame It on My Youth,""Something to Live For," and "I'm Through with Love"), Monheit alsotakes on the syrupy "If" from Bread's catalog, turning it to spuncaramel. And then there's the closer: from the highly favored Blue, a scrumptiousand sensual rendition of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You." --Paige LaGrone ... Read more

Reviews (116)

4-0 out of 5 stars Gee, I liked it....
I'm no jazz expert, as some reviewers seem to be, but I really enjoy Jane Monheit's music. She's very easy on the ears, and her tracks enable you to just sit back and listen (and listen and listen). My two Monheit CDs (the other is "Never Never Land") have been played more in the past two months than any CD I've ever owned. They don't get old, and to me that means a lot. I own an Ella Fitzgerald CD and the soundtrack from the PBS series "Jazz," and I can't sit through either one. I guess it's just a matter of taste when it all comes down to it.

I could do without "Over the Rainbow," because frankly, I don't like the song -- never have. I don't care who sings it. I could also do without the tiny track at the end of the CD of her singing "Rainbow" at age two or so, but hey, that's what the skip button is for on the CD player. No album has 100% satisfaction, but this one comes darn close. Most important, though, is that I'll be looking forward to her future releases.

Listen to the samples and make up your own mind.

4-0 out of 5 stars Base your reviews on whether or not she can sing.
I fail to see why beauty and age should be factors in a review of any singer. Billie Holiday and Carmen Mcrae were not too hard on the eyes either, and they are legends of vocal jazz. Jane has a beautiful and very emotive voice. She has great phrasing and a stellar group of musicians accompanying her. Personally, I like my singers to be a little more bluesy and rough around the edges. Give me Cassandra Wilson (another beautiful woman), the late great Terri Thornton, or even the sweet and sassy relaxed vocals of Shirley Horn anyday. But I have no problem giving my kudos to Jane Monheit. A Case of You is one of my favourite Joni Mitchell songs, and I doff my hat to Jane's rendition. Diana Krall faced the same criticism that she was too young and good looking to be talented. Listen to the cd, if that voice of liquid honey backed by the great Kenny Barron, among others, does not move you , check for a pulse.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not for people who are jazz fans
Ms. Monheit is a talented singer but one who doesn't understand the first thing about jazz phrasing and improvisation. I'm not a big fan of her singing style, but some may like it. At any rate, she's not a "JAZZ" singer.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Very young girl with a very young voice
I cannot believe what comes out of Hollywood these days. This girl has NO life experience, and it shows in her singing. There is no depth of feeling -AT ALL - this is simply a young girl who has thought to herself "I can sing like that" but doesn't have the wisdom of years to come through with a truly moving performance. As for her voice, she has one nice quality, her ability to slide between notes. Other than that, her low voice is dimensionless, her high voice is thin, and she does weird things with her voice that restrict her vibrato, probably thinks it's hip or something. Every time she tries to add fullness to her voice on "Something to Live For", she just goes flat. One or two times I actually even heard her slide flat when she was trying to make her voice sound older. The producer needs to give this girl some time in the real world to have a life, number one, and let her voice finish maturing, number two. Then she might have something that would be truly remarkable, in maybe 10 or 15 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome Jazz Vocalist
I absolutely love this album and every song on it. This is by far some of her best work. Clean, clear, and crisp vocals throughout every song surround your senses. You can hear and feel the passion in her voice.

A true professional, Ms. Monheit delivers a classic jazz album in only her second try. ... Read more


109. Dreaming Wide Awake
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Asin: B00096S3RM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1400
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Album Description

On this album the singer, songwriter embraces the history of Jazz, Gospel, and R&B. Her collaborations with some of the most gifted artists already have this record tagged as one of the most original albums of the year. ... Read more


110. Live: A Fortnight in France
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Asin: B0002RQ2QC
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2194
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Recorded in the spring of 2004, Live: A Fortnight in France presents Barber in ideal conditions, playing to responsive audiences with musicians she's toured with steadily since 2002's Verse. It's a typical Barber program, split between her own songs--there are two new ones here, the opening "Gotcha" and "Whiteworld," with a mordant irony all their own--and covers that add fresh dimension to the familiar, like "Blue Prelude" and the languid "Call Me." There's a riveting presence to Barber's voice, an emotional directness that resonates with the playful creativity of her lyrics--"call me a doctor, or a structural engineer," she sings on "Pieces"; "your edifice is starting to crack and peel," on "Gotcha." As a pianist, Barber fuses with guitarist Neil Alger, bassist Michael Arnapol, and drummer Eric Montzka into a tight-knit band that can stretch from the dissonant "Crash" to the consummate swing of "Witchcraft." --Stuart Broomer ... Read more


111. The Best of Nina Simone [PolyGram]
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Asin: B0000046UW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 9515
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A powerful voice.
This is the first Nina Simone album I ever bought and itÕs one of the most precious records I own. I got my first vinyl copy thirty years ago, after seeing and hearing her on a PBS special. I ended up with this record because it was the only thing they had by her at the record store and, like practically everyone who has ever heard her sing (unfortunately, not nearly enough people), I had to have SOMETHING. The first time you hear her voice she becomes an addiction. Years later I bought a cassette of this album for the car, and after I got a CD player, this was one of the very first CDs I bought. For thirty years, itÕs been one of the few albums I never wanted to be without.

The odd thing is, itÕs not a flawless record. There are a couple of tracks that I skip almost every time I listen to it. (Her pitch on "Wild Is The Wind" is so off itÕs like fingernails on a blackboard.) But forget the duds. The rest of the album is not just brilliant, itÕs beyond compare. Nobody sounds like Nina Simone. Not even close. I couldnÕt even describe to someone who has never heard her exactly what style of music she sings. SheÕs sometimes classified as an r&b singer, which makes no sense at all. Most critics all her a jazz singer, but she has objected strenuously to that label, and certainly if youÕre thinking of Billie Holiday or Sara Vaughan, youÕre way off base. In her autobiography, she calls herself a folk singer, but that evokes images of Joan Baez and Judy Collins, and doesnÕt really fit her either.

Nina Simone is simply a brilliant musician, a genius who has taken in a wide range of influences Ð gospel, jazz, folk, classical, blues, European art song, musical theater, r&b, everything Ð and blended them together into unique works of art. The only performer of her breadth I can think of is Ray Charles Ð and as much as I admire Ray Charles, I think Nina Simone is even better.

On some songs Ð "I Put A Spell On You," for example, and "DonÕt Let Me Be Misunderstood" Ð her singing is so deep and moving, so honest, she brings chills even after youÕve heard the songs a thousand times. Others go even beyond that. Listening to her rendition of BrechtÕs "Pirate Jenny" is like listening to a soliloquy by a brilliant actress on a bare stage: she evokes an entire world, an entire soul, with the sound of her voice. The anger of "Mississippi Goddamn" still burns decades after she wrote the song. You canÕt listen to her without feeling angry yourself. And the 10-minute "Sinnerman" is awe-inspiring, a religious experience, every second of it.

DonÕt expect to put this on in the background, because this is music that will force you to sit down and pay attention to it. Nina Simone will not be ignored.

I wouldnÕt be without this album.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brown Eyed Handsome Woman !
If you describe her style as jazz, then Nina Simone is my favorite Jazz singer. I prefer to call Nina a vocalist (and yes, she's also my favorite vocalist). Nina Simone's voice just makes me giddy. It makes my skin goose pimple. I can't say exactly why. Its not sweet and chipper like Ella, nor is it world weary like Billie, it has its own life. It's raspy and earthy. Its almost gravely growl gives the songs Nina sings a more truthful sound. You can't help but believe her when she sings 'Pirate Jenny' that if someone made her the king (and I do mean king. Nina sounds like she could beat up most anyone in a street fight...) of the pirates, you are going to be in trouble mister. BIG TROUBLE.

Other standouts on this album include the classic civil rights anthem MISSIPPI GODDAM, the re-done classic by the Animals DONT LET ME BE MISUDERSTOOD, and the two songs that could easily be predecessors to dance music SINNERMAN and SEE LINE WOMAN. My personal favorites on this album are PIRATE JENNY and the self explanitory BREAK DOWN AND LET IT ALL OUT. You can just feel the anger and hurt in her voice as you listen. To me, that's a very rare and beautiful thing...

5-0 out of 5 stars Miss Nina Simone Goddam!
What an incredible compilation of the very best that Nina has to offer. The emotional range and sense of humor presented on this CD make the listener feel as if she/he were at one of Nina's concerts-one can almost smell the cigarettes and whiskey being enjoyed by the audience. She is a true Diva in the very best sense of the word. All songs are amazing and provide the listener with a great building block or addition to one's Nina Simone education.

5-0 out of 5 stars So she might sound like a man
When first I heard Nina Simone, I was sure that it was a man, but my friend hastily corrected me on my grave error, as she was, as I was soon to learn, the greatest Diva. Although not the only one to have made this gender mistake, neither am I alone in having huge respect for her undeniable talent. Like so many musicians, her songs are well known, frequently sung and often copied, but she is scarcely remembered. However, when you hear this album, her voice, filled with utter sensuality, hits you with intense emotion. Its huskiness reminds of all the sorrows which well in the back of your throat, yet it is reminiscent of hope. A quality becoming so rare in music is amplified in her songs, and this is the character which she gives to each one. Every piece is individual and charming, even the French track Ne Me Qitte Plus, with its awful accent is still completely endearing. To use a cliche, these timeless classics are enchanting and seductively romantic. You will undoubtly find yourself singing along, as if she 'put a spell on you'.

5-0 out of 5 stars the power of vulnerability
I have a tape with all but two of the songs for this Nina Simone collection. Simone's passion and ability to evoke mood makes her a great artist. She unashamedly gives a woman's take on lost love in "Break Down," and comes out seeming powerful despite heartbreak. "Sinnerman" is like a downhome revival service. "I Loves You Porgy" is just honest and sincere. "See Line Woman" has a rural, black southern U.S. or Caribbean religious spirit-evoking feel to it. "Four Women" is brilliant and haunting. "I Put a Spell on You" shows the confidence of a woman's wiles without seeming psychotic or fatal attractionish. Overall, I really enjoy Simone's work. I look forward to buying some of her other collections. ... Read more


112. Christmas with the Rat Pack
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Asin: B00006IJWZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 21
Average Customer Review: 4.57 out of 5 stars
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Just as irony is being pronounced dead, along comes this boozy holiday compilation to suggest that rumors of its demise may be premature. Given the culture's simmering lounge mania, this collection (with its cheesy homage/rip-off Oceans 11 art direction) may be belated--but hey, punctuality was never these swingin' cats' bag, Jack. The novelty of having three of the 20th century's most notorious sinners belt, whoop, and sing the praises of sleigh bells, roasting chestnuts, and the virgin birth would be enough to recommend this dizzy, 21-track delight, but there's actually some rewarding pop archaeology here as well. Two of the best tracks--Sammy Davis's ring-a-ding-ding romp through "Jingle Bells" and Dino's dreamy "Peace on Earth/Silent Night"--hail from a vintage, ultra-rare Reprise sampler. Sammy's typically over-the-top "Christmastime All Over the World" and Nat Cole tribute, "The Christmas Song," also make their CD debut. Dino's holiday TV specials yield more unreleased rarities: Sinatra-Martin duets of the loopy "Marshmallow World" and a touchingly tipsy take on "Auld Lang Syne" that suggests the boys have shared more than one cup of kindness. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of My Christmas Favourites
When this came out last year I grabbed a copy from a fast-diminishing pile at my local record store. And I now regard it as one of my all-time seasonal favourites.

The opening lines from the insert tells it all: "Forget about ho-ho-ho and bells that jingle. This Christmas will be strictly ... Ring-A-Ding Ding. Yep, Frank, Dean & Sammy are serving a heaping helping of yuletide cheer featuring classic versions of holiday standards, rare first-time CD performances and hitherto unreleased bonus tracks."

This is followed by two pages of brief anecdotes from each of the stars, some of it related to the origins of the nickname The Rat Pack, as well as a note from Frank's long-time pianist Bill Miller relating their appearance in Las vegas while filming Ocean's Eleven.

A picture spread in the middle shows the three in action on stage, followed by three pages showing the contents and when the song first appeared on record. The earliest [track 11] dates to 1954 and the Capitol LP Merry Christmas To You while most of the remainder are culled from albums originally reeased in the late 1950s to early 1960s. Track 20 is from Dean's TV special on December 21, 1967 and track 21 is from his December 31, 1970 show. The only one previously unreleased is track 3, Christmas Time All Over The World by Sammy, and when you hear it you'll wonder why it was held back at the time.

Thank you Capitol for what is now surely an essential addition to any Christmas collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Christmas cocktails with Frank, Dino and Sammy!
Capitol has followed up their "Eee-O Eleven: The Best Of The Rat Pack" disc (one of the few excellent 'Rat Pack' compilations around; most others recycle the trio's bargain-basement material) with this brilliant Christmas-themed CD. While all of the songs Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin sing on their own have been released before on CD, this is a pretty good selection from that material.

From Frank, we get a few timeless carols, "The First Noel", "Hark! The Herald Angels", etc (backed with a choir), plus the beautiful "Christmas Waltz", and "I'll Be Home For Christmas". We even get treated to "I Believe", which is a somewhat rare single, and wouldn't really even be on this CD if not for a throw-away reference to Santa Claus!

From Dean, we get a few tracks from his "A Winter Romance" album (a priceless collection of frosty not-so-politically-correct charmers), as well as a few traditional by-the-numbers Christmas anthems: "Silver Bells", "White Christmas", "Rudolph The Red-Nose Reindeer" and "Winter Wonderland", all of which see Dean impeccably slurring his way along as only he can! A highlight is the stunning "Peace on Earth / Silent Night", which is taken from a ultra-rare Reprise Christmas promo album.

Another track from this album is the incomparable Sammy Davis, Jr.'s take on "Jingle Bells", which is given a Vegas arrangement that swings something fierce! Sammy's tracks really make you wish he'd recorded his own Christmas album. I suppose he was too busy wowing the world onstage as The Greatest Entertainer Who Ever Lived, to consistently blow the socks off everyone from the studio.

The only (minor) gripes are in the small print... For those who care, Capitol's telling a few badly-researched fibs in the liner notes. Dean's "White Christmas" is his '59 version, not the '66 as claimed; Sammy's "It's Christmas Time All Over The World" has in fact been released, and on so many budget Christmas LPs it's not funny, while Davis, Jr.'s sensational version of "The Christmas Song" was not originally from his "The Nat King Cole Songbook" LP, but from a 1963 album, "California Suite", devoted to songs written by Mel Tormé.

The two finishing tracks, Frank/Dean duets from Dean Martin's TV shows cap off a sensational album - the talent of these three guys will short circuit your CD-player if you're not careful, so pour yourself something stiff, and sit down to a nostalgically cool Yule! This CD is even enough to make this Australian reviewer forget that it's the middle of summer and as hot as blazes outside, and cry insanely into the bushfire smoke "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!"

5-0 out of 5 stars Coolest X-Mas CD ever
I was under the impression that I was cool BEFORE I got this CD. Now I just can't stand myself. Frank and Sammy tear it up, but Dean is my boy. What a pimp. This CD rocks.

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid!
Overall I found the CD to be great - I was expecting a few more Christmas tunes but am very pleased with the selection the chose for this CD anyway. The recording quality is great and overall this inspires me to get more of the Rat Pack CD and DVD collections. What a blast it must have been to watch these guys live!

5-0 out of 5 stars These hip cats set a swinging, partying mood!
I brought this CD home as a Christmas present for a coworker, but my husband claimed it before I could gift-wrap it. After he played it once, I realized it was the perfect gift for just about everyone on my list. I bought six more to give as gifts -- all to thrilled recipients. We took our own CD along to 2 holiday parties where the hosts played it nonstop and all the guests loved it. This is the perfect Christmas CD. The choir and orchestra are quintessential 1960s. The sacred songs get the respect they deserve, and the silly songs have never been more fun. Do what I did: get one for yourself and one for every music lover on your gift list. ... Read more


113. 16 Most Requested Songs of the 1950's, Vol. 2
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Asin: B0000026SU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 5582
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114. Ray Charles and Betty Carter/Dedicated to You
list price: $11.98
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Asin: B0000063EW
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1705
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Ray Charles's decision to cut an album of duets with then-rising jazz singer Betty Carter defines the phrase "unerring instinct." Charles responds to Carter's gorgeous voice and compelling melodic changes with some of his softest singing; you might say that this already masterful conduit of emotion got in touch with his feminine side on this 1961 date. The opening and closing cuts of the girls'-names theme album Dedicated to You, another '61 LP that fills out this 78-minute disc, demonstrate Brother Ray's touch for transforming unlikely material into expressions of his own funky essence. His amused big-band celebrations of "Hardhearted Hannah" and "Sweet Georgia Brown" sit alongside sublime portraits of "Stella by Starlight" and "Ruby" on an underappreciated set that's a perfect match for the Charles-Carter sides. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Natural Musical Performance
It is probably a mistake to romanticize the past, however, I wonder if a recording such as this could be made today, in this age of polished marketing and highly 'professional' musical performance. Their is a natural, unforced, aspect to the music here that can not be denied.

By now, the greatness of Ray Charles and his stature in the Jazz World, is indeed self evident. His work with Betty Carter on this disk shows his sensitivity in selecting a companion for collaboration as well.

I have listened to this disk countless times, musing over the sensitive lyrics and the performances rendered. The songs never forget to remind me that a delicate sensibility, while not easily found, can be a worthy companion.

You might enjoy the sensitive vocals and fine orchestration here, no matter what your current love status may happen to be. It is hard to recommend this disk highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars If you like Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong...
Ray and Betty rule. This is an outstanding pairing of contrasting vocal talents with fine phrasing and orchestration. Wonderful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Funny, refreshing,entertaining
A great pairing of two musical giants

5-0 out of 5 stars one of the most played in my collection
When this was recorded there were so many people who showed up to witness this fabulous duo, that the session had to be closed. You can feel the emotion...not a finer recording exists. Guess you can tell I like it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ray Charles at his best
I originally bought "Dedicated to You" in 1961 in college. It was the only albumn that I ever wore out completely with help from my dormmates. It was played constantly. The titles are all girl's names and his treatment of "Nancy" "Dianne" and "Hard-hearted Hannah"are classic with big band background. All these years later the CD has not lost a thing in fact the stereo sound is more realistic than it ever was. Then to find an additional albumn with Ray and Betty Carter on the CD was a real bonus. The price is worth one of these two alone. If you like Ray Charles you won't be disappointed. ... Read more


115. Rsvp
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our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0002M5T9S
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 2139
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116. Watching the Snow (Dig)
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Asin: B0002W11TA
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1391
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Album Description

Pop/jazz/rock cross-over star Michael Franks' first-ever holiday album sets the scene for mirth, merriment, and a cool yule all around. On tracks like "Said the Snowflake" and "I Bought You A Plastic Star (For Your Aluminum Tree)," the artist's trademark wit and lyrical worldplay are clearly in evidence. And throughout the disc's ten tracks, this master musician taps into his signature sense of timeless romance, wrapping his poetic songcraft in melodies as inviting as a blanket of freshly fallen powder. Delight your senses with the magic of the season, as observed by Michael Franks. ... Read more


117. Verve Unmixed 2
list price: $11.98
our price: $10.99
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Asin: B0000ACAOI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 14272
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The price is right
Why can't more CD's be priced like this fine offering from the Verve vaults?
For the cost of a couple of gallons of gasoline this music will take you further and you'll get plenty of mileage out of these classics. Beginning with the Carnegie Hall live recording by Dizzy Gillespie of "Manteca" in 1961, this disc will either take you down memory lane or set you on a new path of jazz discovery. Jazz means many different things to many different people, often discredited as being too cerebral or just plain high music, jazz often gets a bad rap. There is no clear definition because like many other genres there are many sub categories. Within the broad context of jazz this disc is diversified . Several great songbirds are featured including the marvelous, so nice the used here twice, Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald(two songs too), Betty Carter and Astrud Gilerto. Unlike the remixed versions featured on "Verve/Remixed 2," the complete songs display the full spectrum and range of depth of some these artists. For example, Nina Simone's vocals on "Sinnerman"show the gospell influenced style more clearly than on the remixed version and her piano skills are demonstrated along with her jazz interaction with other instrumentalists. It is a thing of beauty. The live version of "Brother , Where Are You"? by Oscar Brown Jr. has the passion of the Civil Rights movement, a slow swagerring, gritty song that builds momentum as the audience claps along joining the artist in unison in approval of his message. "Blues For Brother George Jackson"(check your history) fits the mold of what most non jazz people think of as jazz with it's multiple horns led by Archie Shepp with yet another Civil Rights era song. I would be remiss without mentioning the exceptional Latin influenced songs by Cal Tjader and Willie Bobo entitled "Soul Sauce" and "Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries" respectively. These two songs alone are worth the price of admission. It is worth comaparing the versions to the remixed versions to fully appreciate both the originals and the great job with the new interpretations. Recommended as is but even more so as a companion to the remixed versions. A super compilation for traditional jazz fans or those interested in the roots of "Verve Remixed /2."

5-0 out of 5 stars Real Value for Money!
Even if you only liked two or three of the tracks here, you'd still be getting a great deal for your money. That said, every track here is a winner and it's easy to see why these were picked for remixing on Volume 2. Virtually all of them feature wonderful percussion, which usually translates into arresting remix sounds (like the mighty Six Degrees Records roster!). If you don't own any Nina Simone, start right here with the mighty 10 minute "Sinnerman," used to dazzling effect in the "Thomas Crown Affair." Her "Black is..." shows us what a unique talent she was. As far as Volume 3 goes, it will interesting to see if Verve ever gives the OK for some remixes of Getz, Bird or the mighty Trane. Perhaps people are scared to touch those, but regardless of your position of remixing, Verve Unmixed 2 is the perfect present to get for someone, especially if you're CHEAP!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Verve Unmixed - the Sequel.
"Verve Unmixed 2" is the companion CD to "Verve Remixed 2," in which a handful of dance DJs successfully revamp several jazz classics. Here, each track appears in its pure original version, giving the listener a tour through some of the genre's most respected artists. The album kicks off with the infectious bite of Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca," which sets the tone for the rest of the album. Ella Fitzgerald's "Slap That Bass" and Ramsey Lewis' "Do You Wanna" stand out pretty well, while Cal Tjader's stunning "Soul Sauce (Guachi Guaro)" is a timeless fusion of traditional jazz and Latin flavor. Another winner is the beautifully piano-laced "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair," which features Nina Simone's voice in all its aching glory. There isn't much more for me to say, as the music really speaks for itself. If you already have "Verve Remixed 2," it would be foolish to pass on this release which not only has the original versions but also one of the most impressive tracklistings I've seen on any compilation.

5-0 out of 5 stars More classics
This follow-up disc is every bit a great as the first. Do not let the low price scare you into thinking it's something less than high quality. A must have disc...fans and those unfamiliar with the Verve label will both enjoy that this music is BACK!!!! ... Read more


118. Woody's Winners: 20 Classic Tracks from the Films
list price: $12.99
our price: $12.99
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Asin: B0000520AZ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 7525
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Album Description

20 classic tracks from the films of Woody Allen, including Artie Shaw & His Orchestra-'Frenesi' from 'Radio Days', Louis Armstrong & His Orchestra-'Stardust' from 'Stardust Memories', Bob Crosby & His Orchestra-'Big Noise From Winettka' from 'Manhattan Murder Mystery', The Benny Goodman Quartet-'Whispering' from 'Might Aphrodite', Duke Ellington & His Orchestra-'Take The A-Train' from 'Radio Days' and more big bandclassics from Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra, Count Basie & His Orchestra, Billie Holiday & Her Orchestra to name a few. Standard jewel case. 2000 release. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect except for ONE PIECE!
This CD is absolute perfection, but WHERE, oh, WHERE is the Dick Hyman recording of "Easy to Love" played at the end of "Stardust Memories"???? It's achingly beautiful and the one Dick Hyman recording I have of it isn't the slow, sensual version of it. PLEASE someone, let me know! (Woody, are you listening?)

5-0 out of 5 stars Have a listen at Woody's impressive record collection!
Whether out of interest in Woody Allen movies, or perhaps a desire to listen to some supposed cinematic jazz, you'd be hard-pressed to ignore the fact that Woody Allen has great taste in music. This is quite a diversified sampler of the big-band (and not so big-band) jazz and swing music from the 1930's and early 1940's that Woody has intimately incorporated into his films over the past 30 years. What sets this apart from other big-band jazz/swing compilations is knowing this is not just a greatest hits compilation but rather a journey through someone's personal record collection. Nearly half of the music is (obviously) cued from "Radio Days", but there are also songs from the films "Stardust Memories", "The Purple Rose Of Cairo", "Manhattan Murder Mystery", "Celebrity", and "Sweet & Lowdown".

There are many other Woody Allen jazz compilations of similar quality, but with 20 songs clocking in at 70 minutes, this album is clearly the most generous. It showcases the clean and busy work of the famous orchestras of Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman. There are gentle vocal efforts as well; Fred Astaire sounding lighter-than-air on "Cheek To Cheek", a young Frank Sinatra swoons and croons "If You Are But A Dream", and Billie Holiday coos through "Did I Remember?" The wacky but clever instrumentals "Big Noise From Winnetka" and "Sing, Sing, Sing" also appear, as do some absolutely sweet & sublime guitar playing from Django Reinhardt on "Body And Soul", which pairs him alongside an angelic string quintet. The notable omission is, of course, Glenn Miller's classic "Moonlight Serenade", a song worthy of including in a 20th century time capsule. None of the tunes here come off as the loud, brash variety - shrill but blazing horn sections, basically - that you may be accustomed to hearing elsewhere.

The music on this compilation seems paradoxical. These songs are timeless in their craft & charm, and yet they can transport you to an era you may have never experienced but suddenly feel very comfortable with. Every song sounds so sophisticated, lively & tasteful, and yet it's all so mellow and easy-to-swallow. This music will work both for dancing on Saturday night and for coffee & toast on Sunday morning. If you'd like to examine Woody's equally appetizing sense of classical music, I suggest "Woody Allen Classics", which offers healthy samples of Bach, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Puccini, Gershwin, and Prokofiev. ... Read more


119. Return to Me:Music from the MGM Motion Picture Soundtrack
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B00004S59G
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 3910
Average Customer Review: 4.39 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

David Duchovny and Minnie Driver star in Bonnie Hunt's romantic comedy Return to Me, named after the Dean Martin standard that leads off this soundtrack. According to the liner notes, Hunt assembled these songs to reflect nostalgia for her own childhood, and, aside from the incongruous addition of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles' "I Second That Emotion," it's all orchestrated pop that recalls a far-removed age before rock 'n' roll. Several tunes were composed and orchestrated by the movie's music director, Nicholas Pike, who, with the help of singer Joey Gian, nearly re-creates the past. However, it's the campy good time of the Jackie Gleason Orchestra and Dean Martin himself ("Good Mornin', Life" serves as a parody of Up with People, while "Buona Sera" is prime Martin) that best reflects this ersatz-glitzy era. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more

Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Love the movie, love the soundtrack
The only bad thing that I can say about this CD is that Jewel and Frankie aren't on it. Other then that, "What if I loved you" is the song my fiance and I are dancing our first dance to at our wedding in a few months. This movie has become one of my favorites, and the soundtrack is awesome!

3-0 out of 5 stars Ah, the movie is perfect, the soundtrack isn't
I was disappointed by the soundtrack. where is the Frank Sinatra song that was one of the most wonderful moments in this wonderful movie? and the heart breaking song (no pan intended) that was the background of the heart transplant operation? the songs in the CD are nice and sweet, but the two most important pieces are not there and that's a huge disappointment. a movie that good deserved an equal soundtrack. WHERE IS FRANKIE?

3-0 out of 5 stars it's missing a few songs, but it's still a good album...
I was excited to receive this CD, and when I did, my excitement dwindled somewhat...

First--only 37 minutes of music??? I feel ripped off.

Second--where's "the real mccoy" song we hear in the film???

I'm most happy about the Dean Martin "Return to Me" remake. Apparently the producers utilized the vocal track from Dino's original recording and then remixed it with new music to give it a modern flare.

I recommend the CD, but with some reservation.

4-0 out of 5 stars songs left out of soundtrack
Is it my imagination, or was there a song on this soundtrack by jewel? If so, does anyone know what it is called? I absolutely loved it & it made the movie! This movie was great!

5-0 out of 5 stars Return To Me
As a widower of almost 4 years I found Davids potrayal of a widower to be profound.
The find the writing of the script by Bonnie Hunt and Don lake to be right on target. They have captured at least for me the essence of romance after a tragedy and a glorious event of a heart transplant.
To bring these two emotions together as they have and then to add the music that so aptly captures those emotions so well.
The cast was like a gift from heaven. My god, what a fine bunch of actors. What forsight to be able to think of them and then to bring them together in this wonderfull movie.
I watch it at least once a month.

G.B.H. ... Read more


120. Vibrate
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B0002VEXAU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1102
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Some of the Transfer's best records have been themed, such as Brasil and Vocalese. However, their biggest commercial successes have come from albums like Extensions and Mecca for Moderns, recordings that highlighted the genre-hopping versatility of the vocal quartet and yielded big pop hits along with it. This album falls into the latter category. The previous five decades are harmonically represented throughout these 11 tracks, including traditional '40s vocal styling on "Embraceable You," a classic '50s doo-wop medley, and some Beach Boys-styled psychedelic '60s pop on "Feel Flows." They've always excelled at jazz, and do so here with lyrics by Jon Hendricks to melodies from Horace Silver and Marcus Miller. But it's the group's forays into the 21st century via songs by Brenda Russell and Rufus Wainwright that really stand out. --Mark Ruffin ... Read more


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