terroh | OH | 02/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Julie Wilson singing live Cy Coleman. I wish I'd been there! I'm sorry I didnt discover Julie in her prime, but even in her 70's she's a wonderful cabaret singer who hasnt lost her magic. I've been collecting all of her songbooks and this is a favorite. So many song gems on here, many I'd never heard of. It sent me off on a Carolyn Leigh search after hearing many of their collaborations here. Her rendition of Come Summer is stunning. So many great songs. It Amazes Me, You Facinate Me So, Withcraft. Fun songs, torch songs, it runs the gamut. William Roy, her pianist, chimes in on several songs. They make a great pair. The song introductions do get a bit annoying over time, but that's a minor quibble. Discover the magic of Julie Wilson. There are few singers like her left."
Well sung but...
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 01/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps the name of Cy Coleman does not have the instant recognition value of Berlin, Gershwin, Rodgers, or Kern; but the composer of "Little Me" and "Sweet Charity" cannot be dismissed as a minor artist. For those familiar with the cabaret scene, the name of Julie Wilson does indeed have i.r.v. and her "Songbooks" (Gershwin, Arlen, Porter, Sondheim, and Weill) on DRG label have been quite successful. Put those last two sentences together and we have the recent "The Cy Coleman Songbook" (DEG 5252) with 18 cuts containing 13 Coleman ditties. Ms. Wilson is joined by singer, pianist William Roy in a live show they gave on October 9, 1999 at the New York Algonquin's Oak Room. And therein lies the strength and weakness of this CD. Whether or not the press release's claim that she "offers the songs of Cy Coleman with more soul, sparkle, and probing insight than almost anyone" has enough meaning to test against what we hear; but she sings the songs as if she means them--and that is what Style is all about. If Mr. Roy's vocal contribution is not quite in the same class, well that's showbusiness. At the first hearing, her spoken comments about the songs are quite witty and enjoyable. As always, the interaction between artist and audience gives the performance the extra liveliness that makes all the difference in the singing. But does one really wish to hear the comments again on repeated hearings? That is the weakness with most of these "on the spot" events. And there is no way to program the dialogue out, so I have to give a less than perfect rating to this DRG offering. The singing leaves little to be desired, and whether it tops "almost anyone" is up to you to determine. The only other Cy Coleman collection is part of a now out of print Smithsonian Institute series; and if you ever see a copy of that in a cut out bin, grab it. But for now, be content with Julie Wilson's excellent presentation."