Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sings the Peggy Lee Songbook
Genres: Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Bette Midler and musical director Barry Manilow follow their successful tribute to Rosemary Clooney with a collection of songs immortalized by Peggy Lee. It starts off with the inevitable "Fever," which Midler does in a br... more »
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Bette Midler and musical director Barry Manilow follow their successful tribute to Rosemary Clooney with a collection of songs immortalized by Peggy Lee. It starts off with the inevitable "Fever," which Midler does in a brassy, finger-snapping way that would feel more at home at the Sands c. 1960 than in a dimly lit 1950s boudoir. It's a deliberate, clever choice that works for Midler. The selection hits predictable bases ("Is That All There Is?", "Big Spender") but it's hard to argue when those bases are so loaded. Midler actually sounds a lot more at ease than on the Clooney disc. She handles the upbeat material as well as could be expected, but she also shines on the slower numbers, delivering sultry takes on "Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe," "I'm a Woman," and "He's a Tramp" (a song copenned by Lee, from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp). The neglected gem in the collection is Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "The Folks Who Live on the Hill," popularized by Irene Dunne in 1937 before being covered by Lee. Manilow's arrangements are deliciously lush and Midler uses a slight vibrato at carefully chosen moments, somehow sounding as if she had suddenly been lifted back to the 1940s. It's a real treat that epitomizes an accomplished album. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Another Great Bette Recording
Robert Caputo | NJ USA | 12/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bette once again has shown herself to be one of the best interpretative singers today. She has not performed an imitation of Peggy Lee (leave that for the lounge singers in Vegas) but her own take on some of Peggy's greats. She has a great style and her voice is the best that it ever has been.
All that said, most importantly, she has shown what an unparalleled performer Peggy lee was. As good as Bette is, Peggy's interpretations are miles ahead of just about anyone else's. She had a unique talent to find the perfect phrasing and mood of just about anything she sang. When she sang a song, she got it right!
This CD is a definite buy.
I love being here with Bette
amdg | Sydney Australia | 07/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bette follows up her tribute to friend Rosemary Clooney, with a tribute to the great Peggy Lee. This set may not be as adventurous as the Rosie tribute, as the arrangements are very traditional (which suites these songs), however this is still a wonderful album. The ballads "the folks who live on the hill" and Harold Arlen's lovely "happiness is just a thing called Joe" are simply stunning and two of Bette's finest ever vocal performances. "fever" (revelatory interpretation) and "he's a tramp" come up a treat, and "I am w-o-m-a-n" is the divine Miss M in all her glory. Bette's been recording standards since `am I blue" on her first album (1972) and with the possible exception of Linda Ronstadt no rock singer sings the standards better then Bette and this album is a testament to that. Great songs, great arrangements, great singing, great album and a lovely tribute to a dearly missed singer (and songwriter).