John Bucchino may not be a household name, but his songwriting abilities have gained him many famous fans, several of whom appear on this collection. Backed only by Bucchino on the piano, said fans include Patti LuPone (wh... more »o featured several Bucchino songs on her last solo recording), Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liza Minnelli, and Billy Stritch, but also Jimmy Webb. Sentimentality sometimes rears its ugly head, and the best performances are by those who skillfully avoid it, like Judy Collins, whose "Sweet Dreams" is heart-wrenching, or Art Garfunkel, who lends quiet vulnerability to "If I Ever Say I'm Over You." Now let's give Bucchino a solid libretto and a gifted arranger, and see what he can do with a full show. God knows Broadway is in dire need of tunesmiths. --Elisabeth Vincentelli« less
John Bucchino may not be a household name, but his songwriting abilities have gained him many famous fans, several of whom appear on this collection. Backed only by Bucchino on the piano, said fans include Patti LuPone (who featured several Bucchino songs on her last solo recording), Michael Feinstein, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liza Minnelli, and Billy Stritch, but also Jimmy Webb. Sentimentality sometimes rears its ugly head, and the best performances are by those who skillfully avoid it, like Judy Collins, whose "Sweet Dreams" is heart-wrenching, or Art Garfunkel, who lends quiet vulnerability to "If I Ever Say I'm Over You." Now let's give Bucchino a solid libretto and a gifted arranger, and see what he can do with a full show. God knows Broadway is in dire need of tunesmiths. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
"I've listened to a great deal of theatre and cabaret music over the past few years but nothing even comes close to this exceptional compilation of songs by John Bucchino. I had never heard of John before buying this CD but on the strength of the performers who have lent their voices and support to this project, from legends like Liza Minnelli, Judy Collins, and Art Garfunkel to legends-in-the-making, Ann Hampton Callaway, Adam Guettel, Kristin Chenoweth, and Bucchino himself, I knew this was a CD not to be missed.These are brilliant songs and I think it only fitting that the back photo is of John's hands...clearly the hands of genius. I was particularly moved by the songs Temporary, This Moment, Grateful, and the extraordinary If I Ever Say I'm Over You sung beautifully by Art Garfunkel.If this short review sounds glowing...it is meant to be. I may not be an expert music reviewer but I know a well-written song when I hear one and believe me when I say, Mr. Bucchino has a bright and promising future ahead of him. And like Stephen Schwartz who has written the CD liner notes, I can't wait for Volume Two!"
An exquisite collection of songs
Elizabeth O'Brien | Ipswich, Queensland Australia | 06/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Last year in Sydney, I had the great privilege of hearing John Bucchino perform his songs in cabaret with David Campbell. What a marvellous night!I had not heard any of his songs until that night but what an introduction to genius! It only takes one hearing of a song like "Grateful" or "It Feels Like Home" to impress you with this man's enormous talent as an interpreter of modern life in a way that is timeless. His songs will, like all the great songs of this & the last century, be sung and appreciated for a long time to come.Every song on the album is exquisite, but I particularly love "Grateful" (sung so beautifully by one of my favourite singers, Michael Feinstein), "Sweet Dreams" (isn't it gorgeous?), "If I Ever Say I'm Over You" (I can't get the song out of my head - it's so sweet & poignant) and the powerfully rendered "Better Than I" - now, that's how to sing a song! David Campbell is an Australian national treasure, in my book.Stephen Schwartz's comments in the liner notes are very pertinent: "So, an album like this, a literate collection of songs for grown-ups, is doubly welcome."People who love adult, well-written music (as opposed to the proliferation of manufactured pop for teenagers) couldn't do better than listen to this terrific album."
drmdm | SANTA CRUZ, CA USA | 07/11/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd heard whispers of this man's name associated with memorable songs in cabaret acts, but havn't heard his work until this CD. I am won, pure, plain and simple, and will be buying whatever else he releases on its strength. I'm only disappointed that Amazon doesn't audition what I consider the best tracks. To be honest, I don't care for the Minnelli track. It's all about Liza having cutsey fun with Billy Stritch and not communicating the song clearly. However, that's the only track I feel goes awry from Mr. Bucchino's talent. I was stuck for days on Adam Guettel's UNEXPRESSED, followed by the glittering bittersweet of THIS MOMENT and the unabashed drama of NOT A CLOUD... Then, a week later, I was obsessing on TEMPORARY and BETTER THAN I and Art Garfunkel's IF I EVER SAY. As a musical afficianado, I've begun playing this for friends with a "look-what-I've-found" attitude. I look forward to seeing this man live in the near future, but in the meantime, I highly reccommend GRATEFUL. It's a gem that grows deep roots after only a few listens."
Julie Nemitz | New York, NY USA | 04/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I adore this CD. It is smart, poignant, joyful, and irreverent. And the list of performers speaks for itself! Please purchase this CD if you want to be challenged emotionally, and become ultimately a richer and wiser music fan. "Grateful" is perhaps the greatest song written in the last 5 years. I cry each time I hear it. Michael Feinstein's version is perfection. "Taking The Wheel" makes me want to take on the world and all it's demons. That's what music is supposed to do. Purchase this CD because John is the one of the two or three most important voices in contemporary cabaret and theatre music today."
Remember the name
Michael A. Benedetto | New York, NY USA | 02/19/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Bucchino has accomplished quite a lot for a theatrical composer who has yet to have a major production of his work (until a one-act in "3hree", at least, which will hopefully reach Broadway within the year). Notably, his songs have been performed and recorded by some of the greatest luminaries of the theatre world, and a few more recognizable celebrities as well. The reasons for his success in this regard are abundantly clear: he has a knack for writing melodies that stick with you, coupled with an uncanny ability to choose subjects for his songs that are surprising, yet immediately compelling.Happily, this album pairs Bucchino's gentle, wonderful songs with interpreters who are their equals, including several who are renowned songwriters in their own right and clearly know how to put across a lyric (Adam Guettel, Amanda McBroom, and Art Garfunkel). As such, this is simply a stunning album -- every nuance of every song is carefully fleshed out.RCA should be commended for taking a chance and releasing a tribute (of sorts) to someone who has yet to find major mainstream success. Bucchino is a real find -- who knows what turns his career might have taken had he been born forty or fifty years earlier.For more of his songs, I equally recommend Patti LuPone's "Matters of the Heart" and Sally Mayes' "The Story Hour", on both of which you'll find songs also on this album and songs not found anywhere else. They're worth it for the other Bucchino songs. Heck, they're worth it for the duplicate Bucchino songs."