Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Heart That's Free
Genres: Special Interest, Pop
The magic of Jane Powell
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 08/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Singer-actress Jane Powell was at her peak in the early fifties. I know nothing about her movies, but her music was pure magic. Jane had a high, soprano voice, well capable of handling any type of song she was likely to require to sing in a musical. As her music was limited by her acting, we will never know the full range of her capabilities as a singer.
This collection includes duets with Fred Astaire and Vic Damone, love songs, upbeat songs, comic songs and much else. The rehearsal version of Love is like this has Jane singing with just piano and drums for accompaniment, and it's lovely. I also particularly like Jane's versions of By the light of the silvery moon and Something wonerful, but there are so many highlights, it's pointless to name them all. Musicals often contain weak songs, but if Jane recorded any of those, you won't find them here.
Jane's music is every bit as beautiful as her cover picture. If you enjoy the music of the early fifties, this is for you."
Songs from The King and I and MGM Musicals- Something Wonder
Bruce K. Hanson | Petersburg, VA | 09/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why is it that so many of our American recordings are currently only available via English record companies? The cynic might answer that's it's due to the shorter time it takes for recordings to reach the public domain in Engalnd than in the USA. It certainly accounts for the many repackaged yet redundant albums we are getting of vintage Crosby, Garland, Astaire and the Andrews Sisters. (Do we really need another re-release of "Rum and Coca-Cola"?) In the case of this CD, twenty-eight recordings by Jane Powell, there must be another reason: good taste. Producer Bernard Taylor has collected a set of songs that may be sub-titled as "Something Wonderful" a song incidently also included in this collection. Other tunes Powell sings from the 1950s 45 rpm EP record of The King and I include "Hello Young Lovers", "I Whistle a Happy Tune", and "We Kiss in the Shadows", all to great effect. In fact, listening to these show tunes makes one wonder why Powell wasn't used by other major studios when they were adapting Broadway musicals to the big screen in the late fifties. Her voice was vibrant, expressive and lovely to listen to and Powell was very natural in her acting, nt to mention an eyeful for the men in the audience. But back to the review at hand; worth mentioning are some lovely singles such as "The Echo Song" and "I Love You". More interesting are some songs that for some reason were never re-released since their first days on 78 rpm records. In fact, in the late fifties MGM records issued two albums of collected Powell songs; one on their own label and the exact same material on their subsidiary, Lion Records. Perhaps you have seen them; they both have the same cover art featuring Powell in a bathing suit (the MGM album cover in black and white and the same photograph hand colored on the Lion release) hanging from a diving board Yet the producers of these solo albums made a major blunder by including songs credited to Jane but whose voices really belong to Danielle Darrieux and Fermando Lamas!!!! One wonders how they could mess up twice! Yes, Danielle Darrieux was also a soprano but couldn't the technicians tell the difference between Powell's voice and the more manly Ferando Lamas? Many thanks to Bernard Taylor for finally correcting this idiodic error by making Powell's versions available again. These songs, from the MGM film, Rich, Young and Pretty, include "We Never talk Much", "Paris" and "L'amour Toujours". Also included in this collection are songs from Royal Wedding, Two Weeks With Love (including a stereo outtake of "The Oceana Roll"), and Nancy Goes to Rio. Then too, there are some recordings which were not commercially available: "Wonder Why" with Vic Damone, an outtake of "Why So Gloomy", and a studio rehearsal recording of "Love Is Like This" with only percussion and piano accompanying the singer. The liner notes by Hisato Masuyama are excellent and there are even some rare photos. While sound quality varies from good to very good (Rhino records could remedy that) there are no complaints here. This is Something Wonderful; an opportunity to hear Jane Powell in some of her best songs from the golden age of the MGM musical."