The composer's work will be heard on a new disc entitled "Love on a Summer Afternoon: Songs of Sam Davis." PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker will record the disc in late August and expects an early November release; Krasker will serve as album producer.
While the list of the album's performers is still being finalized, performers will include such Broadway favorites as Danny Burstein (South Pacific), David Hyde Pierce (Curtains), Kevin Chamberlin (The Addams Family), Christopher Sieber (Shrek), Jason Danieley (Curtains, Next To Normal), Bobby Steggert (Ragtime, Yank, 110 in the Shade), Will Chase (Robin and the 7 Hoods, Billy Elliot, High Fidelity), Malcolm Gets (Amour, The Story Of My Life), Michael Arden (The Times They Are a-Changing and the new London revival of Aspects of Love), Edward Hibbert (Curtains, Noises Off) and Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid, Guys and Dolls).
Additional casting will be announced later this month. The album "will showcase material written for specific musicals as well as stand-alone cabaret songs: some written as much as ten years ago and some specifically scored for this album."
Tommy Krasker told Playbill.com, "Philip [Chaffin, co-founder of PS Classics] and I first met Sam over a decade ago, when he joined us for some concerts celebrating Philip's first CD. But we really only began to focus on his gifts as a composer last year, when he supplied the title track to Rebecca Luker's latest CD. We asked if he'd send along some other songs he'd written, and he sent what he considered his 'top 25.' We pretty much knew when we heard them that there was an album there, and, more importantly, a beautiful one. Sam writes in all kinds of styles, but in particular, there is a romantic, heartfelt yet rueful quality to a lot of his songs that I find increasingly rare these days. Philip and I were very moved. The other thing that struck us is how many songs were written to be sung by men.
"With the prevailing wisdom that musical theatre is a 'diva's' medium, I thought it would be fun to do an album with all men: 15 or 17 great male Broadway singers. And the album evolved from there. I'm very excited to begin recording." Davis has worked with PS Classics before. His conducting and arranging skills have been highlighted on such diverse dics as Philip Chaffin's "When the Wind Blows South" and the label's restoration of the 1926 musical Kitty’s Kisses. His composition "Greenwich Time," a growing cabaret standard, served as the title track for Rebecca Luker's latest solo album; he also collaborated on two songs with songwriter Georgia Stitt that appear on her album "This Ordinary Thursday."
Davis graduated in 1998 from the University of Michigan School of Music, where he studied composition with William Bolcom and Bright Sheng. He also studied in the BMI-Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. He has written the music for The Scottish Musical (lyrics by Mark Waldrop, book by Darin DePaul), A Good Boy (libretto by Brian Spitulnik), Dysfunctional Fables (lyrics and book by Sean Hartley), and Mina and Colossus (lyrics and book by Ron Nyren). The Scottish Musical is currently in development for a commercial production. His credits as conductor and pianist include the original Broadway production of Curtains and the recent Broadway revivals of The Apple Tree, Cabaret, Follies, Flower Drum Song and Into the Woods. He is musical supervisor for the national tour of Dreamgirls, which he conducted at the Apollo Theater and also supervised in South Korea, Japan, and South Africa. His credits as arranger, orchestrator, and/or music director include Romantic Poetry (Manhattan Theater Club), The Trumpet of the Swan (Kennedy Center), Radio Girl and James and the Giant Peach (both Goodspeed) and Sinatra (Radio City Music Hall), plus the recent London workshop of Bridget Jones' Diary. His symphony orchestrations have been performed by the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the New York Pops, the National Symphony, and the Philadelphia Pops, among others.
Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Philip Chaffin, and a four-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens and Company), PS Classics celebrates the heritage of Broadway and American popular song. Upcoming discs include Broadway cast recordings of Sondheim on Sondheim and La Cage aux Folles, both available for preorder as the label's newly designed website at www.psclassics.com.