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Swingin' boppin' breezy show biz jazz
Cowboy Buddha | Essex UK | 05/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Way back in the 1950's (which I remember well) Andre Previn and Shelly Manne collaborated on a series of jazz albums based on songs from Broadway shows. The first and most popular was "My Fair Lady" but all the albums in the series were excellent examples of a mainstream jazz trio interpretation of show tunes. "Bells Are Ringing" is no exception. As with "Gigi", Previn had been musical director on the film version, so he knew the score inside out. Jazz, of course, does not re-create but interprets (something the previous reviewer seems to have a problem with). For instance, the best known song from the show - "The Party's Over" - is given two interpretations: the traditional ballad approach and an uptempo version.Pianist Previn, drummer Manne, and bassist Red Mitchell blend and bounce off each other to perfection. Previn is the natural focal point and this album demonstrates what an accomplished jazz pianist he was before turning to a career in the classics. His style is heavily influenced by legends such as Art Tatum, but he also has a fluid and melodious sound all his own. I always thought he was at his best when breathing out a ballad.If you want show tunes, buy the original cast album. If you like great fifties-style jazz, this album is for you. Personally, I enjoy and appreciate both. Judy Holliday and Andre Previn were both great stars in their own way."