ALL THAT JAZZ
On the heels of the success of the revival of Kander and Ebb's Chicago is a new release from Varèse Sarabande, Chicago...And All That Jazz, which perfectly complements the new Chicago cast recording released a few months ago on RCA Victor. Performed by The Brad Ellis Little Big Band, with orchestrations by Mr. Ellis, Chicago. . .And All That Jazz offers jazz interpretations of such songs as "Funny Honey," "My Own Best Friend," "Razzle Dazzle" and, of course, "All That Jazz." Bruce Kimmel, who produced the recording, explains that "Chicago speaks loud and clear to a country fascinated/obsessed with murder and celebrity. Suddenly it is a musical at the right time in the right place." Kimmel also adds that "We decided to go with a Dixie feel for some of the album, and classic jazz settings for the rest."
Debbie Gravitte (below), formerly Debbie Shapiro Gravitte, formerly Debbie Shapiro, has recently released her second solo album on the Varèse Sarabande label. Entitled The MGM Album, the Tony winner from Jerome Robbins' Broadway lends her powerful Broadway belt to such movie classics as Irving Berlin's "I Love a Piano" (Easter Parade), the Gershwins' "Too Late Now" (Royal Wedding) and "Little Girl Blue" and "My Romance" from Jumbo. Gravitte also has some fun with "Where the Boys Are" and even offers a version of the "Theme from 2001."
From Sony Classical comes The Hollywood Sound: John Williams Conducts the Academy Awards®' Best Scores, which features the London Symphony Orchestra performing lush arrangements of "Colors of the Wind" from Pocahontas, the themes from Star Wars and The Last Emperor and 13 other tunes. . . .
thomas hampson is one of a group of singers on a new recording from Angel Records that celebrates the songs of Kurt Weill. "It Never Was You" and "Here I'll Stay" are just two of the more beautiful songs that can be found on Kurt Weill on Broadway. . . . On the DRG label is Inside Out, an all-female revue that chronicles a series of weekly support meetings. Adryan Russ's score has a pop Broadway feel and is sung by ann crumb, cass morgan and others. Spotlight: Once Upon a Mattress
RCA Victor has just released "The New Broadway Cast Recording" of Once Upon a Mattress starring stage and screen actress Sarah Jessica Parker (left). Although Parker doesn't have the clarion belt of Carol Burnett, the show's original star, she does possess an ingratiating sound that can be sweet and friendly and, at times, big and brassy. With music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer, the hummable score offers a handful of great tunes. Highlights include Parker's effervescent delivery of "Shy," her jazzy take on "Happily Ever After" and a lilting version of "In a Little While" by Jane (Grand Hotel) Krakowski and Lewis (Swinging on a Star) Cleale. The musical comedy also contains a great deal of humor, which is evident in much of the score, including the aforementioned "Shy" and David Aaron Baker and Heath Lamberts's "Man to Man Talk."