Broadway, concert and recording artists are in the studio Sept.13 completing the tracks for the upcoming release of "Love on a Summer Afternoon: Songs of Sam Davis." PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker, who also serves as album producer, announced a Nov. 2 release.
Additions to the list of vocalists already announced are Christian Anderson, Philip Chaffin, Gavin Creel, Aaron Lazar, Michael McElroy, Jim Stanek and Will Swenson. They join the previously announced Broadway favorites Michael Arden, Tituss Burgess, Danny Burstein, Kevin Chamberlin, Will Chase, Jason Danieley, Malcolm Gets, Edward Hibbert, David Hyde Pierce, Christopher Sieber and Bobby Steggert.
Best known as a Broadway arranger, pianist and conductor, Davis will be celebrated for his talents as a songwriter on the new disc. Orchestrations are by Larry Blank, August Eriksmoen, Ned Ginsburg, Larry Hochman, Jonathan Tunick and Davis himself. The album is currently available for preorder at the PS Classics website, www.psclassics.com.
Krasker previously 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." Davis has collaborated numerous times with PS Classics. His conducting and arranging skills have been highlighted on such diverse discs as Philip Chaffin's "When the Wind Blows South" and the label's acclaimed restoration of the 1926 musical Kitty's Kisses. His composition "Greenwich Time" 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 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. Davis' 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.
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 through its award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Jessica Molaskey and Christine Andreas; and recordings drawn from rare sound archives, including "Sondheim Sings." Its most recent releases include solo albums by Liz Callaway, Rebecca Luker and Kate Baldwin, and Broadway cast recordings of Finian's Rainbow, A Little Night Music and Sondheim on Sondheim. Upcoming discs include the new Broadway cast recording of La Cage aux Folles, currently shipping from the label's newly designed website at www.psclassics.com.