PEOPLE CALL IT RAGTIME
You will feel chills listening to the just-released double CD recording of Ragtime on the RCA Victor label. From the moment the orchestra begins playing the title tune through to the reprise of "Wheels of a Dream," the lush, beautiful score (lyrics: Lynn Ahrens; music: Stephen Flaherty) never disappoints. Boasting one of the finest array of singers, the score is superbly sung by Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Judy Kaye, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marc Jacoby, Steven Sutcliffe and the rest of the talented cast, and this recording contains nearly twice as much music as the previously released Songs from Ragtime: The Musical. In fact, "Success," "Nothing Like the City" and "Sarah Brown Eyes" were all previously unrecorded.
Highlights include Mazzie's beautiful, pure tones on just about everything she sings, including "Goodbye, My Love" and "Back to Before." Just listen to the way her voice soars in the climactic line of the song: "We can never go back to before." Audra McDonald's voice similarly soars in her Act I showstopper, "Your Daddy's Son," and when Brian Stokes Mitchell sings, "Sarah, my life has changed/Sarah, you've got to see/Sarah, we've got a son!/Sarah, come down to me" in "New Music," it will more than tug at your heartstrings. A must-have recording that is a feast for the ears, you will also delight in "Wheels of a Dream," "Coalhouse's Soliloquy," "Our Children," "Sarah Brown Eyes" and more.
MIZ TAKE TWO
Fans of Les Misérables will be happy to learn that the original London cast recording of the world-renowned Alain Boublil/Claude Michel Schönberg musical has been newly remastered for the Relativity/First Night Records label. Starring Colm Wilkinson, Patti LuPone, Frances Ruffelle and Michael Ball, this enhanced two-CD recording features superior sound.
Cabaret singer Mary Cleere Haran has just released her latest CD, Pennies from Heaven, on the Angel Records label. The recording features movie songs of the Depression Era and includes such gems as "I'm in the Mood for Love," "I Only Have Eyes for You" and "Lullaby of Broadway." . . . Thirty-seven songs by the late lyricist Dorothy Fields can be found on the new DRG release, An Evening with Dorothy Fields. Appearing with the gifted wordsmith are Bobbi Baird, Adrienne Angel and John Peck.
Lisa Asher recently won the MAC Award for Piano Bar/Restaurant Entertainer, and last month her debut solo recording, Let the Mystery Be, was released by Original Cast Records. The 16-track CD is a quirky but appealing recording that explores the many things in life that we cannot see: ghosts, God, dreams, visions and superstitions. Boasting an eclectic mixture of songs, the recording includes works from such disparate composers as Mary Chapin Carpenter, Rodgers and Hart, Christine Lavin and Sam Cooke. Possessing a clear, pure voice that is remarkably easy to listen to, Asher seems to have a special affinity for the work of Craig Carnelia and wisely includes four songs by the New York composer on this CD: "I'm Standing in the Room," "Life on Earth," "Flight" and "A Minute." Other highlights include Hugh Prestwood's "The Song Remembers When" and John Lennon's "Imagine.