VOICES Notes and news on Jazz Vocals releases
17 MAY 13 ANNE FARNSWORTH
Michael Feinstein's recording projects always contain the added depth of musical scholarship, a special interest of the celebrated singer and pianist. His latest release is no exception. Change of Heart: The Songs Of André Previn culls from the impressive repertoire of André Previn, focusing on lesser-known gems written by the famous composer/conductor/pianist.
Multiple Grammy- and Oscar-winner Feinstein's done single songwriter collections before -- he worked with Jules Styne, Burton Lane, Hugh Martin and Jay Livingston, as well as several Gershwin tributes. This new collaboration has an intimate vibe for it's a trio of Feinstein's vocals, Previn on piano and bassist David Finck. The results are warm and intimate, more Oak Room than Great White Way.
Previn, who's performed regularly as a jazz pianist throughout his career, has worked with many female singers in a range of styles that run from Ella Fitzgerald and Anita O'Day to Leontyne Price and Renee Fleming. But, this is the first time he's worked with a male vocalist. Songs we associate with either female or male singers always take on a new slant when the gender is switched.
Most of the songs are from film scores or stage productions. "(You've Had) A Change Of Heart" was written for Valley Of The Dolls but eventually cut from the movie. Another track, "Give A Little More," is also from that film and was sung in the movie by Patty Duke's character, the infamous Neely O'Hara. Hearing "Empty Is My Room" and "Goodbye," from an unproduced score for a musical film adaptation of Goodbye, Mr. Chips, makes one wish that the project be revived.
Fans of the Robert Mitchum/Shirley MacLaine movie, Two For The Seesaw, will recognize the theme song, "Second Chance" which here is paired in a medley with "Why Are We Afraid," from The Subterraneans.
Probably the best-known song from this album is "You're Gonna Hear From Me" from Inside Daisy Clover, the 1965 film about the workings of Hollywood celebrity that starred Natalie Wood and Robert Redford. Picking up Change Of Heart is a win/win for, after enjoying the music on this special album, you're going to want to revisit the movies where the songs originally appeared as well.