Beautiful Girl: The Essential Barbara Cook On Disc

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09 Nov 2013

"The Disney Album"

Barbara Cook's 1988 solo album, "The Disney Album" is triumphant venture. You've never heard some of these songs like this. Wally Harper's arrangement of the disc's opening track, "With A Smile and A Song," for example, turns Snow White's ballad into a showstopper. The ballads that they leave as ballads are given first-class renditions unlikely to be equaled anywhere else. And there are swinging uptempos, bouncy novelty numbers, and still more showstoppers. Normally, my heart belongs to belters, but Barbara Cook's middle register is so full, so rich and so expressive that it essentially offers all the pleasures of a high belt. Combined with her exquisite top tones and all the luscious low notes she was beginning to unearth in this phase, you've got the ideal singer for 20th-century American popular songs.


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