"With all the scrumptuous renditions of Cole Porter's music I'm not quite sure I understand why the "De-Lovely" movie soundtrack is doing so well on the charts. If you want a complete compilation of the best of Cole Porter get this one and "The Very Best of Cole Porter" or Frank Sinatra's "Cole Porter" because they are compliments to one another. Most of the songs are duplicated on each cd BUT the finest vocalists in the world love to sing Cole Porter's songs and each brings a different interpretation. For example - Artie Shaw's orchestra performs "Beguine the Beguine" on this cd - the clarinet is astounding. On "The Very Best of" cd Tony Bennett sings "Begin the Beguine". In either instance they are the same song but completely different and yet still leagues above Sheryl Crow's version on the "De-Lovely" movie soundtrack. The renditions here are magnificent. I still am completely amazed by how many gorgeous songs Cole Porter wrote through the years. The voices on this cd are worthy to sing these lovely songs. So if you saw the movie "De-Lovely" and didn't like the soundtrack (I didn't either) but are enamored by Cole Porter's wonderful music this one is a great find. "
Poniplaizy | Mount Joy, PA USA | 12/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've always liked Cole Porter's songs, so of course I've heard them performed by many different singers. But what made this album for me was the recording of Porter himself singing "Anything Goes." Of course he doesn't have the voice of a Sinatra or a Mel Torme, but if you want to hear the definitive version of a song, you go to the composer himself, and this one is terrific. Porter sings with an urbane, knowing sophistication the others can't match, and in his own words--"God knows, anything goes," not the sanitized versions later singers used. It's fabulous, and the CD is worth the price for that track alone. But the rest of it's pretty easy on the ears too. Performances range from early jazz sounds to splashy big band arrangements to savvy vocals framed by swingy riffs. I like it better every time I listen to it. This is a worthy tribute to a great songwriter, and taken together with "The Very Best of Cole Porter" would be a great introduction to a suave, stylish kind of music that's sorely needed today, in this world of women singers groaning like cats in heat and men pumping out lyrics about bitches and hos. Let it roll--Cole's still tops."
A True Cole Porter Treat
Danielle Bennignus | 12/24/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay - let's just get this out in the open: If you're looking for the real thing, skip the Delovely soundtrack that everyone's talking about. It'll leave those of us who know and love Porter's work sorely disappointed. However, there is a happy alternative, and you've found it.
This album, exploring many period interpretations of Porter's great songs, is a real delight. Although it does have some weak points (cough - Esquivel on track 19 - cough), overall it serves as a wonderful serving of musical hors d'oeuvres.
We start out with period Victor recordings of Porter's voice complemented by the great Vince Giordano & his Nighthawks - I'm a diehard fan of this band, and they've done nothing but justice to "Anything Goes", and raise "You're the Top" to a completely new level. I've come to believe in the musical mantra that Vince Giordano Can Do No Wrong, and these tracks are great examples of that.
Other high points include Lena Horne's "From This Moment On", Irving Aaronson's "Let's Misbehave" (by far the best version anywhere), Roy Rogers' "Don't Fence Me In" (a really addictive little tune - you'll catch yourself humming it when you least expect), Dinah Shore's lusty, swooning "You'd be So Nice to Come Home To", and, best of all, Fred Astaire's "Night and Day" - no one can touch his rendition of this great. The pieces interspersed amongst these are just grand, as well.
So, if you've just come to discover the wonders of Cole Porter thanks to the recently released film, please turn your attention to this album. This collection shines as an introduction to how his work really should sound, as opposed to the rather unfortunate attempts made by current pop stars. They're fine at what they do - but please, keep them away from this department. It takes a highly refined, trained and gifted sense to perform Porter correctly - a fact that this album proves effortlessly. Enjoy."
Disappointing, not delovely, collection
Eironic | 10/04/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps I should have read the print on the back more closely when I bought this on a whim. I should've known what to expect from Sonny Rollins or what they meant by "period performances" (i.e,. performances in the style of a period, but not necessarily from the period). So I got what was coming to me.
Nonetheless, I still feel cheated. This collection isn't what it appears to be, from the front cover, to the back blurbs, to the liner notes. It's a very uneven hodge podge of various recordings of Porter songs by a pretty wide assortment of artists. For too many tracks, these aren't "authentic" interpretations reflective of the period Porter and wrote and lived in, but typical "jazz standard" types of interpretations more reflective of the performing artist's own period. And don't be fooled (like I was) by seeing Cole Porter's name listed as the recording artist for two tracks - yes, those are his vocals, but the backing band is a contemporary band who've re-recorded the band section in a "period performance" style. It makes for a "cleaner" sound overall, but any one with a discerning ear will likely find the sonic incongruency between the '34 recording of Porter's voice and the '04 recording of the band too irksome.
And that's just one of several problems with this CD. It's not that these are bad performances - they're not. It's just that as a collection, they're not reflective of what the CD packages tries to tell you they are. For example, Sonny Rollins' hard bop era rendition of one of Porter's most beloved songs, "It's Delovely," is solid as anything Rollins did at the time. But it's hard bop, not swing, and it's instrumental, not vocal. So you get Rollins' wicked sax noodling, but not Porter's charming and witty lyrics. For a *Porter* collection, that's a considerable disappointment, and especially so, seeing the liner notes themselves set you up for that: "[Porter's] comic opuses like "It's Delovely" and "Let's Do it" exploit the lyricist's idea to tell topical jokes in rhyming patterns and exaggerated language, but at the same time they're wholly dependent on Porter the melodist to propel them with a catchy rhythmic motif." [liner notes, pg. 4] Well, it's would great to have to chance to hear that, but you won't with this CD. Not only is Rollins' "It's Delovely" instrumental, the other song they offer us as a choice example of Porter's comical lyricisms isn't even on this CD.
The other thing that boggles my mind is that there's no clear logic to how they selected these particular tracks. Some of the vocal tracks are very short, and don't give you a chance to ingest their Porterness. For example, Horne's "From This Moment On" and Clooney's "You Do Something to Me" both clock in under 2 minutes (compare that to Rollins' lyricless track that nearly 7 minutes long). I fear the tacks on here are so more because these were the ones the CD compliers' were able to get rights for, more than being ideal representations of Porters' songs.
I'll give it 2 stars because the preformances aren't bad in and of themselves, but regrettably, if you're looking for that one CD that'll scratch that distinctly Porter itch, I doubt this will be the one. It certainly isn't for me."
It's De Lovely-The Authentic Cole Porter Collection
Mary A. Grande | Sykesville, Md. | 08/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got chills when I heard this cd for the first time and the thrills did not stop until the last number. It had been years since I had experienced the old masters playing authentic music rather than the many remakes and retakes we have today. Does anyone today use brushes on a snare---fantastic sound. And hearing Lena Horne in her prime--an extra bonus.