Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
In Person At The Empire Room
Genres: World Music, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Listen to Samples
Merci Beaucoup, Gisele!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 02/09/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In her heydey, Gisele MacKenzie was one of the hardest-working actresses in showbusiness. Primarily a singer and recording star, but certainly no stranger to musical theatre, or on television with dramatic roles.
With a charming, husky voice, she dazzles on this recording, a condensed version of her cabaret act, as performed at New York's prestigious Empire Room in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel; one of the hottest venues for any self-respecting cabaret performer. She's accompanied by Al Pellegrini with the Emil Coleman Orchestra.
Ms MacKenzie offers a dynamite medley from "Gypsy" (the then-current blockbuster on Broadway; sadly she never got the chance to play Mama Rose). Choice highlights include "An Opening Song", "Le Fiacre" (one of her early hits), and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", another old chestnut that seems to bloom anew with MacKenzie's sensitive interpretation. "The Twelfth of Never" is a beautiful love song; whilst MacKenzie also gets to cut loose with comedy numbers like "April in Fairbanks" and "The Piper of Dundee".
The sound quality is what can only be expected with a live recording from 1959; crackly with constant static. Nevertheless, a must-own for Gisele admirers. A bargain price, too.
A live performance, with all that entails
Bruce R. Gilson | Wheaton, MD United States | 06/25/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Gisele MacKenzie was one of those singers I might describe as a "second-tier favorite." By this I mean she was not one of my real big favorites, but ranked just a bit below, as one I still liked quite a lot. And this CD does show off her voice very well. But since it was from a live performance, it suffers from the defects typical of such: the sound isn't as great as a studio would permit, and there is the expected extraneous audience noise. That doesn't make this a bad choice to add to a CD collection; it does mean I can't really give it a top (five-star) rating. A four-star rating still, by my standards, is a recommendation to buy it if you like "my kind of music." It is just not up to the stellar range of the CDs I've given the top rating to.
Some of the material is topical from 1956, and shows that. If you weren't alive then, you might not understand the allusions. That's just a warning; you'll have to expect such things."