RUSH IN YOU FOOLS!
Giovanni | Chicago, IL | 10/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With a limited selection of Brook Benton's music available for so many years,
this wonderful album is long overdue and well worth the wait. Paired with usual cohorts
Belford Hendricks as orchestrator (on all tracks?) and producer and friend
Clyde Otis, this was familiar ground for Brook to conquer, and he does so with
the style that only he possessed. Brook's slow and easy, rich tones fit these songs
like the proverbial glove, just listen and I'm sure you'll agree.The liner notes offer some insight as to how this collection of standards
came to be; Brook was convalescing after an illness and came up with a
list of songs he'd wanted to lay down on wax. The results are stunning;
the emotion apparent. Special attention must be given to the arrangements here.
While I suspect they were all done by Belford Hendricks, (who did wonders on
the Mercury label with Dinah Washington, and also with Nat "King" Cole on some of
his Capitol LP's, most notably RAMBLIN' ROSE) whoever did them is to be
commended. The perfect mixture of strings with muted horn and in some places guitar really puts
this collection over the top.
I guess we should start from the top, as they say, and the old chestnut
MOONLIGHT IN VERMONT gets a fine treatment here by Brook. The tempo is
just right, and sets the tone for the rest of the album. The classic Styne/Cahn
IT'S BEEN A LONG, LONG TIME is also included here, a wonderful and world-weary
reading complete with "loping" strings that guide Brook's gentle vocals.
LOVER COME BACK TO ME picks up the tempo just slightly to a nice, walking
style. IF YOU ARE BUT A DREAM, based on some overblown classical piece of
decades gone by, is whittled down to a lover's plea and mastered by Brook and the orchestra
alike, and possibly the best song on the whole album. For many Brook Benton fans,
the most recognizable and sought after track may very well be the Gershwin evergreen
THEY CAN'T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME, for it is here that Brook gives his most
thoughtful vocalizing in years. Long a favorite of THIS music lover and reviewer, I'm glad
to see this song (as well as this entire album) at last available. Brook's mournful humming over
the intro and at the bridge during BABY WON'T YOU PLEASE COME HOME will tug at your
heartstrings and put the message across of a lost lover longing for reconciliation.
I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH ABOUT YOU, written by husband and wife team of Peggy Lee and
Capitol records stalwart Dave Barbour, is usually treated as something of a up-tempo tune.
Again, Brook slows down the pace and adds a nice verse at the top to bring us in. This is
a classic example of taking a usually brisk paced song and making something new and
beautiful of it. Brook's vocals here are flirtatious and sensitive at the same time.
The inclusion of the Weill-Anderson standard SEPTEMBER SONG brings immediate
class to any collection, and while it's been done a million times before, Brook keeps
it sounding fresh while still keeping the wistful qualities of the time-tested lyric in tact.
At first listening, one might suppose the closer, FOOLS RUSH IN doesn't belong here;
a swinger mixed in a bag of tender ballads, but a closer look reveals just the opposite:
The first eleven tracks describe love and romance in some form. Perhaps the theme
of the album is a contemplated romance, the vocalist enraptured by the thought, pros
and cons of falling, and then, at last, giving into the feeling and going "where angels fear to tread".
A wonderful reissue of a long out of print album from one of the best singers of the era."
BRAVO, BROOK BENTON !!! Great songs---even if the CD doesn't
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 11/15/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Brook Benton had a very special talent; when he sang he made a song sound like a symphony. It's a shame he isn't remembered these days the way he deserves to be. Hopefully more people will be encouraged by positive reviews and "word of mouth" to purchase this album or other CDs by the great Brook Benton.
The CD has many hits: listen for "Moonlight In Vermont" which sports a lovely arrangement for strings as Brook never misses a beat! Brook croons this tune to perfection and "Moonlight In Vermont" makes for a strong start to this album. Another tune I like very much is "They Can't Take That Away From Me," another passionate love song that Brook performs flawlessly. Brook's excellent diction bolsters his fine singing, too.
"It's Been A Long, Long Time" is easily a highlight of this album; Brook sings this with all his heart and soul for a beautiful effect. Great strings on "It's Been A Long, Long Time," too! In addition, listen for the classic "Baby Won't You Please Come Home." "Baby Won't You Please Come Home" gets a slower than usual tempo and Brook delivers this number like the pro he always was!
The CD ends with a snappy, snazzy version of "Fools Rush In" that'll knock your socks off! Brook and the musical arrangement give "Fools Rush In" the royal treatment.
Overall, this is a fine Brook Benton CD even though it could have offered us an extra song or two--especially "It's Just A Matter Of Time." Although I have to take off a star for this disappointment, I still highly recommend this for Brook's fans; and people who enjoy classic pop vocals will appreciate this CD for a long time to come.
Thank you, Brook! We'll never forget you!
YOU CAN'T TAKE THIS AWAY FROM ME
finch334 | 05/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Brook Benton has a voice and when I saw this CD--a miniature version of a real LP--of him singing standards, I grabbed it. Such a "handsome" voice! Only one complaint: the recording is definitely BB's "SONGS" but Verve made a boo-boo and printed on the front of the CD "AFTER THE BALL" by Frank D'Rone, recording that is included in this limited edition series! Shame on Verve!"