Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
It's Better With a Band
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Recorded live in 1980, this long-out-of-print album shows Barbara Cook about halfway through her Broadway ingénue beginnings and her current incarnation as cabaret's reigning empress. Her crystalline upper register is stil... more »
Recorded live in 1980, this long-out-of-print album shows Barbara Cook about halfway through her Broadway ingénue beginnings and her current incarnation as cabaret's reigning empress. Her crystalline upper register is still in very good shape, but she also swings surprisingly hard--those who know only Cook's semi-operatic trills or her dramatic readings of Sondheim's art songs are in for a shock here. The contrast between the singer's tone and the brassy orchestra behind is startling from the very first number, Irving Berlin's "I Love a Piano," and it sustains the entire album. But what makes the album stand out is its mix of show tunes and pop songs. Take "Inside," for instance; cowritten by Peter Allen, it's something you'd expect on a Barbra Streisand record and yet Cook does such a fabulous job that it feels completely natural for her. The frantic glee of "Sweet Georgia Brown" (on which Cook scats) is even better. Add tracks such as Harry Nilsson's "Remember" and Laura Nyro's "I Never Meant to Hurt You," and you realize that what Cook is doing is pulling off the rare feat of "cabaretizing" pop tunes without sounding ridiculous. Fans of the more traditional Broadway repertoire aren't forgotten, especially with an ace Leonard Bernstein medley. It's Better with a Band is a gem and it's nice to have it around again. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
Similarly Requested CDs
HOW can this be ONLY #9 on Amazon's 10 Best of '02 list??
I. Sondel | 01/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"OK,so I KNOW it's a 1980 performance, but you folks STILL aren't giving this 2002 reissue its due appreciation
(A.K.A. worship)! Simply put, this has been, since its original CD issue in 1986, my all-time favorite recording ever, by anyone!! For my money, there's nobody better than Barbara, and this was the performance to prove it! Ms. Cook has continually done wonderful work both before & since this Carnegie Hall concert, but THIS is the recording that first made me love her, and I haven't gotten over it since! Heartily recommended to all lovers of beautiful music, beautifully sung."
It's Better with Barbara Cook
I. Sondel | Tallahassee, FL United States | 07/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Barbara Cook has recorded a number of very fine albums over the years, but not one is half as enjoyable as this little treasure. "It's Better With a Band" is one of those recordings that I wouldn't ever want to be without. At the very least I like everything on this CD, but most of it I love. "I Love a Piano," "It's Better with a Band" and "Another Mr. Right Left" are wonderful, "Them There Eyes" is a treat. The Bernstein medley a gem. "The Ingenue" is a highlight - fast and funny. The finale couldn't be improved upon - "Chant La Vie (Sing)/Sing A Song With Me" delightful, followed by Coward's classic "If Love Were All." Everything seems to coalesce perfectly. I love this recording - and my 'dear friend' Barbara Cook too."
It's Better by Barbara!
I. Sondel | 11/08/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I received my copy of "Barbara Cook: It's Better With a Band" two days ago. It came in the mail with 7 other CDs. I haven't heard any of the others yet. I can't get Barbara of the CD player; I keep pushing repeat. What a joy to get this long-out-of-print album. Listen to Barbara sing a duet with a tuba on "Them There Eyes," then hear her scat on "Sweet Georgia Brown," laugh with her as she sings "The Ingenue," and then discover the queen of Broadway singing an incomparabel Bernstein medley. Nobody does it better than Barbara Cook."