ALBUM: HAMLISCH UNCOVERED — The Unrecorded Music of Marvin Hamlisch. Recording Label: Broadway Records.
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Team Marvin Hamlisch gives thanks to Broadway Records for the very sweet idea of creating an album with many of Marvin Hamlisch’s Musical compositions not yet recorded. Many of his compositions that did not make the cut into the final projects and musicals.
Thanks to producers Michael Lavine, Chip M. Fabrizi and to Marvin’s dear friend and frequent collaborator, Lyricist Craig Carnelia. This treasured album includes songs from the original version of “Smile” (Lyrics by Carolyn Leigh), “Ballroom” (Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman), his final musical “The Nutty Professor” (Lyrics by Rupert Holmes) and several songs from his scores with Craig Carnelia: Imaginary Friends, Bullets Over Broadway and Sweet Smell of Success.
1. Typical High School Senior (5:36)
2. Vet (0:57)
3. Walking in the Sunshine (3:27)
4. Classical Music (2:00)
5. Six O’Clock News (2:54)
6. This Is More Than a Ballroom (3:30)
7. A Different World (4:11)
8. Us and Them (4:54)
9. That’s How I Say Goodbye (2:46)
10. Step Out of Your Shell (5:43)
11. While I Still Have the Time (3:30)
12. Everything You Do (2:57)
13. The Only Way to Go (2:30)
14. Fig Tree Rag (3:08)
15. A Smoke, A Drink and You (7:14)
16. Smart Women (2:57) (For Nora Ephron’s Play)
17. Imaginary Friend (3:32) (For Nora Ephron’s Play)
18. I Would But I Can’t (2:27)
19. Words Fail Me (2:26)
20. Will It Matter at All (3:25)
Many thanks also to the wonderful singers! And their beautiful renditions!
Thanks to: Kelli O’Hara, Marissa Mc Gowan, Klea Blackhurst, Hayden Tee, Randy Graff, Steven Brinberg, Nancy Opel, Julian Decker, Leah Horowitz, Tony Sheldon, Holly Davis, Jessica Fontana, Happy McPartland, Emily Shoolin, Lisa BresciaMana Allen, Jenny Baker, Taylor Brauer, Ashely Bruce, Daisy Carnelia, Jessie del Rio, Sara Glancy, Aja Goes, Sarah Grace, Leigh Ellen Jones, Linda Van Kesteren, Caitlin Kinnunen, Caroline Liff, Molly Modell, Chelsie Nectow, Jaime Rosenstein, Amy Weaver.
Thanks to Amanda Prahl for her BWW Album Review:
HAMLISCH UNCOVERED Will Make You ‘Smile’
In the creative world, there are few names as admired and respected as Marvin Hamlisch. One of only two people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer (the other being Richard Rodgers), his contributions to the American music canon have been lauded and have entered the popular imagination. On the new album Hamlisch Uncovered, the great composer’s songbook is opened up to share previously unrecorded gems, with the help of an array of Broadway stars.
“Many of the songs on this album fit right into the post-Golden-Age sound that we would expect from Hamlisch scores: bright, a little swingy, with quick, cleverly rhymed lyrics.”
“Walking in the Sunshine,” sung here by Hayden Tee, and “Fig Tree Rag” (Craig Carnelia and Hamlisch himself) are stellar examples of the trip-along joy of a Hamlisch song. Along the way, we also get pitch-perfect instances of some of the classical types of musical theatre songs — unsurprising, given that Hamlisch’s canon forms a significant part of popular conceptions of what musicals “sound like.” “Step Out Of Your Shell,” a fun duet between Klea Blackhurst and Julian Decker, embraces the “cheer-up” song form so popular in classically constructed musical comedies, while Tony Sheldon’s “The Only Way To Go” is an impeccable, hilarious character song.
The songs aren’t all candy-colored microcosms of why some people loathe musical theatre music as much as others love it — some take a decidedly different (and decidedly delightful) turn.
“Typical High School Senior,” the opening track, starts out with perky, pure female voices chirping about an idealized image of American-dream teenage-girl purity and kindness. As the song goes on, with more and more positive attributes lauded upon this girl, you begin to suspect that we’re heading for a satirical punchline — and that’s when it shifts into what actual teenage girls sound like, with all their rebellion and imperfections and voices that veer considerably out of perky G-rated territory.
“Vet,” sung by Jenny Baker, and “Classical Music,” sung by Randy Graff, similarly subvert the expectation of a happy peppy heroine, instead inserting references to mundane things like car keys and the ridiculousness of oversized dreams. Everything, though, is still exquisitely rhymed and uses delicious vocabulary and obscure words with a dexterity rarely seen in modern, pop-tinged scores (when was the last time you heard the word “sectarian” sung on a Broadway stage?).
Along with the brighter, lighter songs, there are a handful of slower, more serious tracks to be found. Kelli O’Hara’s lovely soprano is well suited to the delicate, elegant “A Different World” and the bittersweet “That’s How You Say Goodbye.”
“Words Fail Me,” sung by Lisa Brescia, is another standout track, a quiet anthem that has as its cornerstone the lyric “I was here” — a lesson in how the simplest lyrics can sometimes be the most effective and the most timeless.”
Indeed, some of these ballads have a timeless sound to them that reminds us why we keep returning to the classic canon again and again. One song, however, sits a little awkwardly: “Smart Women.” As performed by Craig Carnelia on this album, the song is a man’s bittersweet narration of “smart” women’s behavior (“smart” in both the sense of stylish and intellectual). It’s unclear whether the lyrics indict women who attempt to be “more” than traditional roles or if they indict a world that demands too much of those same women. The lack of clarity is certainly owed in part to the nature of this album, which divests the songs from their characters, but it makes for a brief stumble in an otherwise stellar album.
The final track on the album again features Hamlisch himself: “Will It Matter At All.:
“It’s a classy, brassy song, with breezy lyrics straight out of that earlier age and a sound that’s pure Hamlisch. And the answer to the title’s question as it applies to Hamlisch and his legacy is, of course, yes — it did matter, very much indeed.”