For the Record -- January 1998
LOVE IS GOOD
Andreas's voice glides easily from softer tones to a rich vibrato-filled belt, and standouts of her solo recording include an upbeat version of Lerner and Lane's "On a Clear Day"; the aforementioned "Storybook,"performed in both French and English; the Peter Allen/Michael Callen anthem, "Love Don't Need a Reason"; and a heartfelt version of Billy Joel's "And So It Goes."
ROARS OF THE KING
In tandem with its critically-acclaimed opening at the New Amsterdam Theatre comes the original Broadway cast recording of The Lion King, featuring a double score of songs by Elton John and Tim Rice who also scored the film of the same name and the African rhythms and sounds of Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer; director Julie Taymor contributed to the score as well. Highlights of the Walt Disney recording include the rousing opening, "Circle of Life," the impassioned singing of Jason Raize (as Simba) in the haunting "Endless Night," the melodic "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and the show's most well-known jolly anthem, "Hakuna Matata."
From Varese Sarabande comes a newly recorded collection of songs from shows that were expressly written for the small screen by a mix of legendary Broadway and pop composers. Some of the tunes that can be found on Prime Time Musicals are Alec Wilder and William Engvick's "Too Happy Dancing," from Hansel and Gretel (sung here by Titanic's Jennifer Piech) and Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen's "One Starry Moment" from Jack and the Beanstalk.
The legendary Barbra Streisand offers riveting versions of inspirational tunes that celebrate love and faith on her new recording, Higher Ground, on the Columbia label . . . Melissa Manchester, the concert star who toured the country in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Song and Dance a few years back, has released her first-ever Christmas album, Joy, on Angel/EMI.
SPOTLIGHT: Ann Hampton Callaway
Ann Hampton Callaway possesses a wide-ranging voice that spans multiple octaves: lower husky tones to a soaring soprano. She is also a versatile singer who is equally at home with musical theatre tunes, blues or jazz. On her latest recording, This Christmas (Angel/EMI), Callaway employs many vocal styles and is most effective on an upbeat jazz treatment of "Carol of the Bells." Other noteworthy tracks include a gentle "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and a recent holiday tune from Marilyn and Alan Bergman, entitled "A Christmas Love Song." Another standout is a song she composed, "God Bless My Family," in which she is joined by her sister, Cats' Liz Callaway.
-- By Andrew Gans