Robert S. (stoner2) from LOS ANGELES, CA Reviewed on 10/28/2009...
Choice picks of Gershwin Standrds. Jazz influence is soft and will appeal to most.
Don H. (madcity) from MADISON, WI Reviewed on 4/17/2007...
Great selection of songs by such greats as Sarah Vaughn, Nat King Cole,Mel Torme, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae and many others. 16 songs in all.
Shining proof that The Gershwin Songbook is very special
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 04/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Great Jazz Vocalists Sing The Gershwin Songbook has an excellent collection of Gershwin songs performed by some of the very best singers of the entire twentieth century. I'm very impressed; the sound quality is excellent. I also like that artwork!
The King Cole Trio starts things off with their elegant interpretation of "Embraceable You." Nat King Cole sings with panache and the piano is perfect for this sensitive number. "Embraceable You" is a sublime beginning for this album. "The Man I Love" is performed by Carmen McRae; and Carmen gives this the royal treatment. She sings an opening verse and when she comes in on the main portion of the ballad this number truly takes flight! I love it! There's also Chet Baker doing his best--and succeeding--on "But Not For Me." Listen to that music, too!
Sarah Vaughan's "I Got Rhythm" is upbeat and jazzy; Sarah does this better than anyone else ever could! The sharp musical arrangement that accompanies Sarah complements her vocals perfectly. Nancy Wilson also does a wonderful interpretation of "Someone To Watch Over Me." This very romantic ballad gives Nancy the chance to open up that set of pipes--and she doesn't pass on this opportunity! Nancy sings as clear as a bell and I can really appreciate this number.
June Christy does "They Can't Take That Away From Me" with panache, heart and soul. The overall effect is very elegant; and the melody is very pretty, too. June Christy sure could sing! Beverly Kenney also does a great job with "It Ain't Necessarily So;" this tune is definitely a major highlight of this album. You're bound to like it.
The great Peggy Lee comes in on "Aren't You Kind Of Glad We Did?" This tune showcases Peggy's excellent vocal talents front and center--right where they belong! Peggy sings this song so well it's like listening to pure silk; I always liked Peggy Lee very much. Dakota Staton does her best on "A Foggy Day" and this shines like gold when Dakota Staton sings it flawlessly.
"Johnny Hartman" sings "How Long Has This Been Going On" with all his heart and soul; and it works well for this ballad. The album ends very nicely with Nina Simone pouring her heart out on "Summertime" from Porgy And Bess. Nina sings this with great sensitivity and it's a fine number on this CD.
This is an excellent album for people who love the great Gershwin music; and people who appreciate classic pop vocals will want this for their collections as well. "
The genuis of Gershwin via a diverse mix of singers.
jim aldridge | Colorado, USA | 02/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nina Simone's smoldering "Summertime" is worth the price of the disc! I have tracked down at least 8 copies of this disc to give to family & friends. Always uplifting to listen to."
Capitol Jazz's Great Collection of Great Gershwin Songs
Arthur Blenheim | Boston | 12/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this disc when it first came out. This is quite a collection. All of the tracks are at least very good with the lower tier being the more buttery-flavored songs, but much of it is cannot-do-without greatness. Over the years that I've owned the disc, I've given it a lot of use.
The other reviewer here says "Nina Simone's smoldering 'Summertime' is worth the price of the disc," and he's right; it's that good. This track captivates and mesmerizes from the very first note to the last; I was petrified. Also, Carmen McRae's The Man I Love is wonderfully done from beginning to finish with a great orchestral arrangement; one of the best songs from the disc--a masterpiece of surrealist sound. Chet Baker's But Not For Me is a great tune and Chet's trumpet-playing solo is just quiet enough to keep the mood in the right place; I can remember every note of it running through my memory quite as plainly as if I was listening to it at this instant, although a lot of the disc is that good too. Annie Ross's rendition of I Was Doing All Right is very good, and it has Zoot Sims playing the saxophone, who is, I think, a great jazz artist and saxophone soloist, having played with many other greats like Lionel Hampton. Track 9, Beverly Kenney's It Ain't Necessarily So is a very interesting version of the song which I never would've thought could possibly be any good: she sings the whole song duet against a single bongo player, but the two play off each other with such minimalist perfection that one can't help but be drawn in to the unusual, improvisational sound. They All Laughed sung by David Allyn, is great in the big-band jazz variation with an orchestra so tightly in unison that it can turn on a dime. Mel Torme's Do, Do, Do is an interesting formation of romanticism, and a very nice-sounding rendition. Dakota Staton's A Foggy Day is so loud and cheerful, it almost sounds psychotically so, and the vibraphone and trombone fits; Staton and the orchestra sound great together with just enough precision in the arrangement, excellent soloing including the trombonist, and scatting by Staton that sends this tune way over the top.
All of these songs are kept short, except for the last one which is I think over six minutes, but it is the most heart-wrenching six minutes of the disc, if not all discs. Overall, this is a great collection by Capitol Records: the cream of the label."