Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Mike Nichols, Elaine May|
Improvisations to Music
Genres: Special Interest, Pop
Nichols and May's 1958 debut album found them doing what they did best--pulling sharp satire and comedy from midair. The slightest suggestion or hint of scenario could send the duo off on a creative tear, and here they vam... more »
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Nichols and May's 1958 debut album found them doing what they did best--pulling sharp satire and comedy from midair. The slightest suggestion or hint of scenario could send the duo off on a creative tear, and here they vamp spontaneous routines over pianist Marty Rubinstein's genteel ivory tickling. On the whole, Improvisations is a little more whacked-out and a little less engaging than their later releases. Adventurous bits concerning international intrigue, modern advertising, and daydreaming dental assistants, for example, are dotted with references to apiaries, obscure poets, and oral prophylactics. Still, at its finer moments--like the wonderful "Cocktail Piano," which finds a boss awkwardly wooing his secretary with promises of Andre Kostelanetz on the hi-fi--it's a retro comic treat. --Michael Ruby
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Lauren C. Butler | Forest Hills, NY USA | 05/03/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Not the funniest of the Nichols and May albums, this is the duo's first CD. It consists of various piano pieces which they use as a springboard to launch into improv sets. None of them really made me laugh out loud, but more than one are oddly touching. Recommended for enthusiasts."
Masters at work
Jeffrey Sweet | NY | 01/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A terrific improv experiment. Nichols and May listened to selections of music and then created new scenes in counterpoint. In some cases, the dialogue and the music seem to borrow rhythms from each other. In scene after scene, there is the telling use of concrete details, swiftly establishing the characters' social classes, educations, philosophical leanings, etc. "Bach to Bach," a post-coital conversation between two intellectuals trying to impress each other, is some kind of masterpiece in this regard. Improvisers today still have much to learn from these two. An essential part of a comedy/improv collection."
Lauren C. Butler | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely amazing, clever, well-organized. Some of the funniest and best comedic bits i've ever heard. the music is prime and the characters, eerily and horribly fun."