Search - Barbara Cook, Billy Stritch, Ann Hampton Callaway :: Cabaret Christmas

Cabaret Christmas
Barbara Cook, Billy Stritch, Ann Hampton Callaway
Cabaret Christmas
Genres: Jazz, Special Interest, Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
 
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

Attention all lovers of that rarified New York-lounge-scene singer known as the cabaret performer. This droll and sophisticated collection of Manhattan's finest features Karen Akers and Andrea Marcovicci on several tracks,...  more »

      
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Amazon.com
Attention all lovers of that rarified New York-lounge-scene singer known as the cabaret performer. This droll and sophisticated collection of Manhattan's finest features Karen Akers and Andrea Marcovicci on several tracks, as well as Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Cook, and Jay Leonhart, to name but a few on this engaging and at times jazzy, show-bizzy, and witty disc. The show stealer is easily Julie Wilson's "Season's Greetings." Wilson's greetings take you through every conceivable holiday of the year and then some--including Election Day ("don't forget to vote," she sings, sounding on every note unenthusiastic and overrun by all the good cheer, but wishing you well just the same). Wilson's mini-masterpiece of sarcasm, understatement, and cleverness ought to be on any collection that features "darker" Christmas fare. For this "Season's Greetings" alone, get a few copies for those friends who never seem to get in the merry mood. --Martin Keller

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CD Reviews

Broadway's Brightest
Jennifer Beth Pepple | State College, PA | 11/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

""A Cabaret Christmas" is an essiental holiday album. Ann Hampton Callaway offers a "sleigh" stopping performance of "Winter Wonderland" and "A Christmas Love Song". Andrea Marcovicci's performance of "After the Holiday's" will truly remind you of what the holiday's are all about. If you are looking for that speical holiday album for the year, order "A Cabaret Christmas" today and have a Merry Christmas!!"
Cabaret Christmas highlights many styles and varied talents.
Mary Whipple | New England | 12/12/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The fifteen songs on this CD, recorded in 1993 and re-released in 1999, show off the talents of a wide variety of singers, from the relative youngster, Mary Cleere Haran (then about 40), to the mature talents of Julie Wilson, Barbara Carroll, Margaret Whiting, Dorothy Loudon, and Barbara Cook. All are cabaret singers, accustomed to singing with minimal accompaniment in the intimate confines of clubs. Here they give Christmas songs an unusually intimate sound.

Of the several outstanding tracks, Ann Hampton Callaway and Billy Stritch are in peak form with "Winter Wonderland," a jazzy treatment filled with interesting harmonies, key changes, and variations, including scat, which they do in spectacular harmony. Callaway's range is enormous, and the arrangement by Stritch shows it off. Another duet, the surprising combination of smoky-voiced Karen Akers with the intense Andrea Marcovicci in "Silent Night," begins a capella, with fine harmonies, the two echoing each other in the lead-up to Mike Renzi's piano accompaniment. The strength of Akers and the intensity of Marcovicci make this one of the best songs on the CD.

In Karen Akers's own solo, "I Don't Remember Christmas," a dark, ironic, and fast-paced song, she comments on her ability to "forget" a lover, whose echoes are "gone without a trace," though she remembers the smallest moments throughout the year in which she has "forgotten" him. Akers's Piaf-like passion makes this another high point, though it is more about lost love than about Christmas. Mary Cleere Haran, in "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," is in complete control, making easy key changes and giving new interpretations to the intimate lyrics.

Of the "mature" singers here, Julie Wilson (aged 69) sings "Season's Greetings" with dark irony and a whispery interpretation. Barbara Carroll (aged 68) still swings and plays a mean piano, Barbara Cook (aged 66) still has fantastic range, Margaret Whiting (aged 69) has almost the same great range, and Dorothy Loudon (age 60) still interprets with great passion. Their amazing professional skill (and longevity) more than compensates for any tremulo in their voices.

The out-of-the-ordinary selection of songs, the widely varied talents and obvious enthusiasm of the singers, and the outstanding arrangements, many of them by pianist Mike Renzi, make this a Christmas album which will delight lovers of cabaret music. n Mary Whipple
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A WOW of a Christmas!!
Kenneth R. McLeod | Houston, TX USA | 12/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a diamond gem of a holiday recording when most offer, at best, mere rhinestones. Warm and nostalgic without being sappy, with just enough pepper to season it all. The track listing on Amazon.com is very inadequate as is the list of performers. Miss Cook was never lovelier than on White Christmas. Karen Akers, Mary Cleere Haran, Ann Hampton Calloway, Julie Wilson, Margaret Whiting, Andrea Marcovicci and on and on. A veritable encyclopedia of cabaret "standards" doing many standards of the season,with a few specials thrown in. A vocals or cabaret lover could not go wrong with this one. I bought it the instant it came out in 1993 and have played it FIRST each season since, and play it throughout the season. Now I ask you, is this a RAVE review? You bet it is."