"Ann Hampton Callaway offers a full menu of romantic songs--many original compositions--with the voice of a seasoned chanteuse who has known romance and loss and love regained. From her lilting original composition "Music" to her soft and delicate rendering of Kander and Ebb's "A Quiet Thing" to her hushed good-byes in "I'll Be Seeing You," Ms. Callaway displays a vocal range with a generosity and depth rarely encountered. The title song "Bring Back Romance" with its exhortations for "soft conversation and slow dance" and "ways to say I love you without speaking" and "the promise of warm passion" is a marvel of romantic song-writing and vocal interpretation. This album sets the mood for a night of intimacy with your significant other. Ann Hampton Callaway brings back romance with her lush voice, stirring performances, and happy sharing of her heart. This one is a winner."
Mycroft | Charleston, Oregon | 02/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The sweet rain of Ann Hampton Callaway's voice will ease you into the dream world of romance and rock you gently until all the world is at peace. The strength of this CD is that it is so easy on the ear that you don't have to listen. Got a fireplace? Turn off all the lights, open a bottle of good wine, find a handsome companion and do your best not to get in the way. Ms Callaway can croon with the likes of Ella, Sarah Vaughn and Julie London and the very best part is that she is recording now. If there is a fault to find, these gentle romantic songs don't give Ms Callaway a chance to soar. When she sings softly the angels stop to listen but when she swings she sings only for God."
Beautiful, amazing--and a musical gem
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 03/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bring Back Romance by Ann Hampton Callaway shows her at the top of her game. Indeed, Ann's exceptional ability to sing with sensitivity stands out; she gives blood to give a good performance every time she sings. This album is no exception. The quality of the sound is excellent and that artwork is very tastefully done.
"Music" is a fantastic opening number for this album; I really like "Music." "Music" gets a jazzy arrangement and that keyboard work enhances it all even further. Ann handles subtle tempo changes like the pro she always is; she never falters on this album. "How Long Has This Been Going On?" gets a very interesting arrangement; Ann and the band play with major and minor keys to make this a major highlight of the album. Ann Hampton Callaway breathes new life into "How Long Has This Been Going On?" and I have no complaints about that! This tune is worth the price of admission alone.
"My One And Only Love" features Ann Hampton Callaway squarely front and center; and when she sings this so gracefully you can tell she wears her heart on her sleeve--she means it! "My One And Only Love" was always a great ballad; and Ann does it great justice. "An Affair To Remember" is a very pretty ballad; and listen for "You Can't Rush Spring." "You Can't Rush Spring" has a rather creative arrangement and Ann's voice conveys the subtleties of all the emotions in the lyrics of this ballad. If you have any doubts about Ann Hampton Callaway's talent; "You Can't Rush Spring" will surely lay your doubts to rest!
"A Quiet Thing" stuns me with its beauty; this sensitive number gets the royal treatment from Ann who delivers this in such a way that you can tell she was born to sing ballads like this one. Sure, Ann makes it sound as easy as if it were just breathing; but we know it really wasn't so easy--Ann's talents always carry her through. "There Will Never Be Another You" picks up the tempo for a jazzy, energetic number that clashes with the melancholy lyrics; Ann makes this all her own with her exceptional sense of timing and her very special, full voice that's as clear as a bell.
"You Go To My Head" is simply awesome; I love this number and it's obviously a major highlight of this album. This song is also worth the price of admission alone; the entire CD is all THAT good. In addition, "It Could Happen To You" is very pretty and that jazz arrangement gives "It Could Happen To You" a bright new coat of polish that helps Ann to make this another big hit for the album. The album also ends rather strong with Ann Hampton Callaway performing a medley of "My Shining Hour" and "I'll Be Seeing You." "I'll Be Seeing You" is a romantic, nostalgic number that I love to hear; and when Ann performs "I'll Be Seeing You" it absolutely glows!
Ann Hampton Callaway always does her best; and of course this CD is an example of that. I saw her perform live a couple of years back and she's just as amazing when you listen to one of her albums like this one. I highly recommend this CD for people who already are her fans; and people just discovering Ann would do well to start with a fine album like this. These songs simply never sounded so good! "
"A Soul Is A Very Patient Thing"
Rebecca*rhapsodyinblue* | CA USA | 04/22/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Since I wrote 'Bring Back Romance,' a wonderful emergence is taking place. There is a renewed interest in romance and the kind of music that I love. More and more people seem to be drawn to the gentle pull of intimate music and heartfelt lyrics and to the luxury of taking time with the simple pleasures of life and of getting to know someone. It seems the soul is a very patient thing and will wait as long as it takes to be listened to and cared for. I'm very glad to be living in a time that has finally decided to value the soul again." ~ Ann Hampton Callaway ~
Recorded and released in 1994, "Bring Back Romance" is a mix of standards and original songs by Ann Hampton Callaway whom I consider one of a dozen jazz divas of today in my book of jazz. She sings with passion, cleverness and emotional honesty. She scats effortlessly. She selects her material with tasteful elegance. She writes songs with astute and meaningful lyrics. She has a powerful voice that can project a wide range of emotion. To me, these are credentials to be considered a "jazz diva."
The way she handled the disc's repertoire is nothing short of splendid. I am very impressed with her perfect phrasing and flawless delivery of each song. Her original compositions are listener-friendly and never boring like the first song, "Music." It has a bossa nova feel with samba-ish rhythm and a dose of her unmatched scatting flair. I would say this track is the best amongst her self-penned-songs along with "Bring Back Romance" and "You Can't Rush Spring." The former reveals that she is one of those incurably romantic souls. The following are snippets of her own poetry set into unforgettable music. (The CD booklet has complete lyrics of her five original songs).
"Bring back romance Soft conversation and slow dance Taking the time to listen and feel Giving our hearts another chance Bring back romance
I dream of music That I've never heard Someone who's singing Who means ev'ry word I am a woman Who longs to be stirred By someone with real soul...
...I love sharing Picnics by the sea And hearing someone Read me poetry Or holding hands Watching an old movie And stealing a kiss in the back row"
To my ears, she has recorded one of the most beautiful versions of "My One And Only Love" rendered in a cool and breezy arrangement by Lee Musiker who is foremost an excellent jazz pianist and figured prominently on some of Tony Bennett's notable albums, to name but two: A Swingin' Christmas and The Art of Romance. He also played piano on this track together with Jay Leonhart (bass), Terry Clarke (drums), Dale Gordon (percussion), and that full-of-charms-sound of a flute played by Lou Marini. I must have listened to this cut a million times!
Ms. Callaway shares the spotlight with her mother Shirley Callaway and sister Liz Callaway in the most striking interpretation of "An Affair To Remember." It also features Laura Seaton on violin, Bill Charlap on piano, Chip Jackson on bass, Richard Rodney Bennett on keyboards and Terry Clarke on drums. There is a moving poignancy and uniqueness in the way it was delivered. How I love listening to it with a few repeats.
The rest of the most striking tracks include "How Long Has This Been Going On," "It Could Happen To You," "You Go To My Head" and "There Will Never Be Another You" with its seldom-heard intro verse. There is a touch of nostalgia in the way she sings the medley of "My Shining Hour"/"I'll Be Seeing You," which is just the right song to close this very beautiful musical outing.
Thanks to Ann Hampton Callaway and all the great musicians who played with dedication and mastery of their respective instruments for making this album a real winner and a keeper. With my heartfelt recommendation along with Blues in the Night and her self-titled CD, Ann Hampton Callaway. Also, a friend of mine recommended to me through an e-mail At Last, which I don't own yet, but will certainly consider it."