Philip Chaffin's Dorothy Fields Album "Somethin' Real Special" Released Nov. 12

By Adam Hetrick
November 12, 2013

"Somethin' Real Special," the new solo album from PS Classics co-founder and A&R director Philip Chaffin dedicated to the songs of lyricist Dorothy Fields, is released Nov. 12.



The album takes its title from an unpublished song Fields wrote with Harold Arlen for the 1953 film musical "The Farmer Takes a Wife." It is poduced by Chaffin's husband, PS Classics co-founder Tommy Krasker. Tony Award-winning composer/lyricist Maury Yeston contributed the liner notes.

"Alone Too Long" hails from By the Beautiful Sea (1954), with music by Arthur Schwartz, and has been newly arranged and orchestrated by Glen Daum.

Listen to a song from the album here:

Chaffin told Playbill.com, "I think it was last March, when we'd whittled the song list down to about 25 possible contenders, that Tommy [Krasker, PS Classics co-founder and Chaffin's husband] said, 'Why don't we go in and do an initial session? Pick your seven favorite songs: the ones you couldn't imagine not being on the album. And 'Alone Too Long' was one of them: I just found the lyric so moving and loved navigating all the gentle leaps in the melody. We immediately thought of one of our favorite orchestrators, Glen Daum, to do the chart. It's funny: we usually ask Glen to score the livelier numbers on my albums – like 'Some Like It Hot' on my first album, and 'Pardon My Southern Accent' on my Southern album, and he did an amazing big-band arrangement of 'I'm in the Mood for Love' and 'Don't Blame Me' for this new album. But for some reason, we thought he'd be right for this gentler song, and he turned out this gorgeous chart, with an orchestral opening that so beautifully set the tone. We've, of course, recorded the whole album now - seventeen songs in all - but this track remains one of my favorites."

Music director James Moore, who conducted PS Classics' Grammy-nominated cast recording of Follies, conducted the orchestra; the arrangers include Jonathan Tunick, Doug Besterman, Jason Carr, Glen Daum, David Loud, Joseph Thalken, Sam Davis, Matt Aument, David Wolfson and John Baxindine.

The album consists of both standards and little-known songs that Fields wrote between 1928 and 1973 with such composers as Jimmy McHugh, Jerome Kern, Sigmund Romberg, Harold Arlen, Morton Gould, Arthur Schwartz and Cy Coleman. Fields' Broadway shows include Blackbirds of 1928, Stars in Your Eyes, Up in Central Park, Arms and the Girl, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, By the Beautiful Sea, Redhead, Sweet Charity and Seesaw. Her film musicals include "Roberta," "I Dream Too Much," "Swing Time," "Joy of Living," "Mr. Imperium" and "Excuse My Dust."

The track listing follows:

"Remind Me"
"Carousel in the Park"
"I'm in the Mood for Love"/"Don't Blame Me"
"A Cow and a Plow and a Frau"
"You're a Lovable Lunatic"
"Somethin' Real Special"
"Alone Too Long"
"Diga Diga Doo"
"Sweet Charity"
"April Snow"
"Then You Went and Changed Your Mind"
"Let Me Look at You"/"The Way You Look Tonight"
"Where Am I Going?"
"I'll Buy You a Star"
"Exactly Like You"

Chaffin recently completed a run of Cole! at Music Theatre of Connecticut, and just prior to that, appeared as Arnold in the New York revival of Tom Griffin's The Boys Next Door. He has appeared in New York City in both concerts (including several of the Encores! productions at City Center, as well as Lyrics and Lyricists at the 92nd Street Y) and in theatrical evenings, including the Broadway premiere of Alan Menken and Tim Rice's King David. He is featured on recordings of Nonesuch Records' Pardon My English, New World Records' Tell Me More, and several PS Classics discs, including Sweet Little Devil, Sweet Bye and Bye and "The Maury Yeston Songbook." His first solo CD, the big-band album "Where Do I Go From You?," launched the PS Classics label in 2000; his second album, "Warm Spring Night," which celebrated a century of Broadway love songs, was released in 2005. His third album, "When the Wind Blows South," was named one of Playbill.com's "year's best" in 2008." Since 2001, Chaffin has divided his time between performing and running PS Classics, where as A&R Director, he reviews submissions, and green-lights and supervises all recordings. He has received two Grammy nominations, for co-producing the Broadway cast recordings of Sondheim on Sondheim and Follies.

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Founded in 2000 by Tommy Krasker & Chaffin, and an eight-time Grammy nominee (for its cast albums of Assassins, Nine: The Musical, Grey Gardens, Company, A Little Night Music, Sondheim on Sondheim, Follies and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess), PS Classics celebrates the heritage of Broadway and American popular song through award-winning cast recordings; solo albums by such artists as Maureen McGovern, Victoria Clark, Steven Pasquale, Liz Callaway and Christine Andreas; and restorations of long-lost musicals, including Sweet Little Devil, Sweet Bye and Bye and Strike Up the Band 1930. Recent releases include Rebecca Luker’s solo disc "I Got Love (Songs of Jerome Kern)," the world premiere recording of Anthony Rapp’s one-man show, Without You, and the revue Noel and Cole.

Upcoming albums include the Off-Broadway cast recordings of Far From Heaven, in stores Nov. 12, and Yank!, due to record later this fall.