Vintage Gershwin! Rare recordings from his Broadway shows.
Deborah Torgler | Lincoln, NE USA | 12/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are actually 20 tracks on this CD; most of the songs will be familiar to you if you are a Gerschwin fan, even if you don't know the names. There was a lot of music being recorded in the 1920's and 1930's, and the selections included here are not, for the most part, original cast recordings, but were hits recorded while the Gershwin shows were running on Broadway from 1919 to 1933. The recordings have been remastered and sound very fresh and clean. If you love American culture of the '20's and '30's as I do, you will find this CD a rare treat. My personal favorites (today) are "O Gee!-O Joy!" (from Rosalie) and "My One and Only" (from Funny Face), both recorded by Johnny Johnson and his Statler Pennsylvanians in 1927 and 1928. Anyone familiar with the Broadway shows will also appreciate "Do, Do, Do" and "Someone to Watch Over Me" (from Oh! Kay!), written for and sung here by Gertrude Lawrence. There are many more treats on this CD and I recommend it highly."
Antique sound, timeless art!
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 03/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD celebrates the obscured, dimly-remembered rough edges of George Gerhwin's early years, rather than the smooth, swank pop renditions of his classics and standards that we have come to know and love. Here, rather, are rare (and often unreleased) early renditions of tunes taken from his copious work as a Broadway composer, including many big hits and a few lesser-known ditties. The performances also include B-list bands alongside stars such as Gertrude Lawrence and Paul Whiteman; many of these old Victor sessions have a rinky-dink feel, reminiscent of jazz's dixieland and trad-jazz heritage, and probably reflect the musical sound of the 1920s better than the cleaned-up later versions would. Nice to know Broadway music wasn't always so perfect and lavishly arranged! Some of these recordings feature original cast performances, although many do not, and frequently these cover versions are instrumentals, rather than vocal renditions. Once again, this is a potential plus: it's interesting to hear George Gershwin's music shorn of the poetry, in a setting that gives a clear idea of what it must have sounded like back in the day. Don't buy this album looking for classy, sleek pop balladry; but if you like the antique sounds of the past and are interested in the history of popular music and musical theatre, then check this puppy out!"