Andrew Gerle, who is the album's musical director and arranger, co-produced the album with Justus. PS Classics, the label dedicated to the heritage of American popular song, previously released the world-premiere recording of Maltby and Shire's musical, Take Flight. Maltby and Shire wrote the scores to the Broadway musicals Baby and Big, but are perhaps best know for their revues Starting Here, Starting Now and Closer Than Ever.
The album takes a jazz approach and seeks to reinvent the Maltby-Shire catalog. The title track is from Take Flight.
Philip Chaffin, co-founder of PS Classics, told Playbill.com, "Christa reached out to us a few years ago, when she was contemplating a Maltby-Shire album, but we didn't connect again until last fall, when she was already midway through tracking. We loved what we were hearing, and signed on immediately. Christa and Andrew had both worked with Maltby and Shire a number of times, and I think that familiarity allowed them to be incredibly creative with their catalog, while also being intensely respectful of it — the best combination. In fact, Richard and David were so pleased with what they were hearing that they came into the studio to join Christa on one track, 'One Step,' which I think is a special treat."
The complete track listing is as follows:
1. "Dancing All the Time" (from Big, 1996)
2. "A Girl You Should Know" (written for an unproduced musical; included in Starting Here, Starting Now, 1976)
3. "Throw It to the Wind" (from Take Flight, 2007)
4. You and the Sky (written for Take Flight)
5. "A Little Bit Off" (written for an unproduced musical; included in Starting Here, Starting Now)
6. "Stargazer"/"Stars, Stars, Stars" (from Cyrano, 1958)/(from Big)
7. "Coffee, Black" (from Big)
8. "Life Story" (included in Urban Blight, 1988, and Closer Than Ever, 1989)
9. "The Word Is Love" (from The Sap of Life, 1961; included in Starting Here, Starting Now)
10. "I Chose Right" (from Baby, 1983)
11. "One Step" (from How Do You Do, I Love You, 1967; included in Starting Here, Starting Now)
12. "I Hear Bells" (from Love Match, 1968; revised and included in Starting Here, Starting Now)
13. "Autumn" (from Cyrano; revised and included in Starting Here, Starting Now)
14. "I Wouldn't Go Back" (written for Baby; revised and included in Closer Than Ever) A native of Columbus, OH, Justus is a veteran of both the Broadway and first national touring productions of the Tony Award-winning musicals Les Misérables and Titanic. She was nominated for a Barrymore Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her performance as Melba ("Zip") Snyder in Pal Joey at the Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia. Other regional theatre credits include Mary in Merrily We Roll Along at the esteemed Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, MN. She has appeared in several Maltby & Shire productions, including their latest musical, Take Flight, at the O'Neill Musical Theater Conference, Manhattan Theatre Club and St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as workshop productions of Baby.
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, among others; 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 and A Little Night Music. Visit www.psclassics.com.