Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg, Lena Horne|
Jamaica (1957 Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
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How can you go wrong with Harold Arlen?
andrew | Philadelphia, PA United States | 08/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A delicious Harold Score which Lena Horne was just born to sing. She is electrifying on this recording. This score isn't as good as "House Of Flowers", but it still gets repeat listens. "I Don't Think I'll End It All Today" is possibly the...strangest song for a Broadway musical I've ever heard. This is one of those great shows that Broadway will never see or hear again."
andrew | 11/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"lena horne and ricardo montalbaum at the top of their form with witty and lively songs-catchy tunes-an underrated pleasure!"
A most enjoyable album of a forgotten Broadway hit
Mark Andrew Lawrence | Toronto | 09/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Created as a vehicle for Lena Horne, the show was modest hit despite an almost non-existent book. But teh score is filled with wonderful songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.
RCA Victor's original cast recording has had a curious history. It was made just as the labels were transitioning from mono to stereo recording. At that time it was not possible to fit as much material on a stereo 12-inch LP as on its mono counterpart. RCA Victor issued JAMAICA in mono as LOC 1036 containing all the show's songs but leaving out the Overture and editing out the introductions to "Savannah's Wedding Day" and "What Good Does it Do?" A few months late a Living Stereo release came out as LSO 1036 and including the Overture but dropping 4 songs ("Pity the Sunset", "What Good Does it Do?", "For Every Fish" and "Savannah (Finale)") These issues were deleted in 1961. In 1965 RCA Victor re-released JAMAICA in mono and stereo as LOC/LSO 1103. Now, LOC 1103 was a direct reissue of LOC 1036. BUT...are you following all this? ... LSO 1103 had all the songs, includng the extended versions of "Savannah's Wedding Day" and "What Good Does it Do?" but like its mono counterpart, left off the Overture. This 1995 RCA Victor CD release has the complete song program and the Overture, but it is now in cut-out limbo.
A reissue (paired with PORGY AND BESS) uses the program as heard on the 1965 stereo LP edition (LSO 1103) and is missing the Overture.
With or without the Overture, the score of JAMAICA is quite enjoyable, even more so on disc where you don't have to deal with the show's book! This is one case where the songs work better out of context. Mostly, the numbers offer a chance for Lena to take the spotlight and belt out the great Harold Arlen numbers: "Pretty to Walk With", "Push De Button", "Cocoanut Sweet", "Napoleon" and especially "Ain't it de Truth." The last song was originally written for Lena to sing in the film version of CABIN IN THE SKY. It was cut from the final release prints of the film (Censors objected to the number being staged so that she sang it in a bubble bath!) so Arlen recycled it into JAMAICA. THAT'S the kind of patchwork show JAMAICA was and although it was a minor hit (557 performances) it will never be revived and you don't hear fans of the score clamouring for a revival. It was all about Lena Horne.