Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
Similarly Requested CDs
Kay Stuart | Sacramento, California | 06/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Raitt has always been my favorite Broadway performer, ever since I saw him on stage( 4 times in 4 different shows).This CD was a great collection representing a few of those shows. This is a must for the Broadway collector. It could also be considered a crossover CD because of the fantastic duets with Bonnie Raitt. "They Say IT's Wonderful" was very well done, but the performances of John and Bonnie in "Anything You Can Do" and especially "Hey There" put this CD over the top for me. I don't think I have to say it again, but I think I will! I give this CD 5 stars and recommend it to anyone who likes great Broadway music."
John Raitt Stars Forever
Alfred J. Cotton, Jr. | Clinton MA | 02/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album is the best of John Raitt, with the welcome addition of three duets with his daughter Bonnie. If you ever followed Mr. Raitt on Broadway or in summer stock, you will love this album -- his voice when he was in his mid-70's hardly varied from his voice as a young man. Some of his biggest shows - Carousel, Pajama Game -- are represented here. Rogers, Hammerstein, Berlin, Porter -- they were the brains that created the modern musical from musical comedy, but it was John Raitt and his colleague Francis Drake who make their ideas work every night on the stage. This album is a welcome reminder."
Broadway, His Way
Gregor von Kallahann | 08/14/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Later in his life, John Raitt used to joke that at one time his daughter Bonnie would typically be introduced as John Raitt's daughter, but after a while he found himself being introduced as Bonnie's dad. If there's a hint of melancholy in that otherwise wry observation, it's only made more poignant in this recording. One wonders if this album, his recording swan song as it were, would have even been made if Bonnie had not achieved phenomenal success in the late `80s (and relatively late in her own career, come to think of it). The fact that three of the tracks consist of father-daughter duets suggests that the powers that be at Angel Records were at least intrigued by the prospect of having the multi-Grammy winning and multi-platinum recording artist accompany her dad. It's also possible, certainly, that it was her participation that got the project greenlighted in the first place.
And would that be such a bad thing? Not really, no performer can be faulted for taking advantage of an opening door--and in the last analysis, the CD is still entitled BROADWAY LEGEND (and not HEY, IT'S BONNIE'S DAD). And while it cannot truthfully be said that the singer was still in his prime at the time of this CD's recording--he was 78 years old, after all--it still serves as a testament to the resourcefulness of how a masterful singer comes to rely on a keen sense of phrasing and timing when a hint of a waver develops and the high notes start to disappear.
There are moments in "The Impossible Dream," for instance, where the singer drops the melody and resorts to a declamatory style of speak-singing. That could raise some critics' eyebrows, I imagine, but the truth is, it's a valid artistic choice in the context of this particular song. Whether John Raitt was, as the liner notes suggest, more of an "acting singer" or a "singing actor" is pretty much beside the point. He knew enough about both art forms to be able to put just about any theatrical song across with polish--and with heart.
Much attention has been given to the duets with Bonnie, and deservedly so. Anyone who had followed Bonnie's career would have known that she was just as capable of a sensitive ballad as a bawdy blues number. And anyone who had caught their joint television appearance with the Boston Pops in the early 90s would not have been surprised at how well their voices blend on this record. If she does seem a little tentative on "They Say It's Wonderful," she is as sly and charming exchanging the banter of "Anything You Can Do" with Dad as she is, in a quite different context, trading lines with Sippie Wallace on a tune line "Women Be Wise." And their version of "Hey There" made me forget Rosemary Clooney's, at least temporarily.
And speaking of being sly, it really is quite clever how they lead up to Bonnie's first appearance on the record with John's solo medley of "Thank Heaven For Little Girls/My Little Girl." Oh, I know it sounds corny on paper, but it really is does work. John gives just the subtlest tip of the hat to Maurice Chevalier by employing a hint of a Gallic accent. He does not lampoon the legendary French entertainer, however. He's too classy an act for that. In fact, the record drips of class.
It's a shame that, aside from the cast albums and one collection, there is so little in the way of John Raitt recordings available today. This album, recorded a decade before the singer's death in 2005, certainly does his legacy justice. It would be even better though, if there were more studio solo releases to select from as well. You take what you get, though, and this latter day effort is worth picking up on.
Bonnie is quoted here as saying that the greatest lesson she learned from her dad was "integrity." It shows.