Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
ALEXANDRA BILLINGS BEING ALIVE "you'll be sitting on your barstool, dazzled, yearning for one more blast" ACHY OBEJAS, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE - JUNE 2000 SOUTHPORT Records and Ralph Lampkin, Jr. of Lampkin Music Group celeb... more »
ALEXANDRA BILLINGS BEING ALIVE "you'll be sitting on your barstool, dazzled, yearning for one more blast" ACHY OBEJAS, THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE - JUNE 2000 SOUTHPORT Records and Ralph Lampkin, Jr. of Lampkin Music Group celebrate the release of Chicago vocalist/actress and cabaret star Alexandra Billings debut CD "Being Alive." An award winning actress and star of numerous theatrical productions that include work at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, Billings shared the cover of The Advocate with Greg Louganis from Larry Kramers's black comedy "Just Say No," had a feature in POZ magazine, and appeared on the Spotlight section on Entertainment Tonight. Alexandra Billings has also created a buzz with her high powered cabaret appearances across the country. "Being Alive" is her recording debut not only for Southport, but for all of her fans. With a voice strong enough give you goosebumps, Billings has the power to rattle your stereo and move a room. She combines elements of jazz, pop and cabaret to create an earthy impression of passion and emotion. Track 1, "Rhythm/Got Rhythm Medly", sets the CD off in a light, informal direction. There is a divine serenity to track 2, "Haunting Medley" as she shares the vocal spotlight with pianist/vocalist/arranger Gino De Luca. The CD moves in several directions, offering full band versions of Carly Simon's "Let The River Run" and the 60's classic "Going Out Of My Head," which features the tenor sax of Eric Schneider and pianist/arranger Bill Underwood. The music and sound of Ms. Billings is a testament to the way she moves through life, with profound energy and a melodic essence that is both rare and exquisite. The title cut, "Being Alive" is a tribute to the everlasting strength that Alex has exibited during her twelve year battle with the deadly disease Aids. For those of you who know her, you know she is advocate in the fight against this plague. "Being Alive" was produced by Chicago impresario Ralph Lampkin for Lampkin Music Group. Southport Records continues its 24 year tradition of producing new Chicago music to a world market.
Similarly Requested CDs
Being Alive Is Wonderful
Jackie C | 11/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD just blew me away! Every cut is an experience and they are all different. The mixture of Alexandra's voice and the musical accompaniment sort of just get inside you or something. She really knows how to tell a story in song. Her rich voice can be light, whimsical, sultry, jazzy, bluesy, bossy and emotional. The music surrounding all this is simple, yet full and a treat because you can actually hear these beautiful arrangements being masterfully played on real instruments. The CD starts off on a light melodic romp with "Rhythm". Then for some camp there is the really funny "My Simple Christmas Wish". "Haunting Melody", the second cut on the CD is an aptly named duet with Gino De Luca. Then there is bluesy "Fifty Percent" and the fun and dramatic showtune "Some People". The title song "Being Alive", and "No One Knows Who I Am" and "Gifts Of Love" are all songs packed with emotion that Alexandra sings with what I'd swear is a personal interpretation. Alexandra gives new flavor to two old favorites, "Just In Time" and "Going Out Of My Head" (the band is really kicking on this one). "Let The River Run" is outstanding. Alexandra and the band beautifully interpret and build this Carly Simon song to a grand climax that had me playing it over and over. Closing out the CD is "Come Sail Away". If I had to pick one, this would be my favorite in this collection. It just makes you feel good. This CD is the real thing. Real singing and real music. Totally enjoyable."
An exemplary album--and totally entertaining, too!
Jackie C | 09/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone involved in making this album deserves credit first for it NOT being what it could have been--a gigantic production, a piece of camp, an adoring framework for an entertainment figure who easily can be adored (but never ignored). Instead what we get is a first-rate piece of artistry placing front and center great singing by any measure, intelligent and perceptive material, a wide variety of performances--happy, sad, wise, campy--and arrangements and accompaniments which are a model of simplicity and simpatico-ness (no such word, I know, but...). Alex is that rare singer who gets inside a song, illuminates it and makes even the most familiar piece sound like it's never been sung before. As a singer she's a model of clarity, being on key, maintaining intonation--you don't hear a lot of that any more; as an interpreter, she's fresh, versatile; as a performer she's both dynamic and relaxed. But, most important, this is such a totally enjoyable album to listen to and enjoy again and again. Finally, Dennis DeYoung's "Come Sail Away" has never enjoyed a reading as sensitive as the one which closes the album and gives this familiar anthem a whole new meaning. Alex, you deserve all those rave reviews you're always getting and to everyone else involved, a deep bow for aiming for the top and hitting it squarely."
Ralph Lampkin Jr. | Sbend, Ind.USA | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As the producer of this CD, I am proud to be a part of such a rewarding experiance. It took us awhile to finish, but I wanted to make sure Alex was comfortable in the studio, since she is such a live performer!! May you enjoy the CD as much as I have,and may you be blessed with wonderful times in your life.This CD reflects Alex's inner thoughts, as personal as she will get on paper, and we hope you will enjoy. Ralph."