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The Jerome Kern Treasury

American Classics: Jerome Kern / Various
Release Date: 05/17/2011 
Label:  Emi Classics   Catalog #: 48946   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Jerome Kern
Performer:  Rebecca LukerHugh PanaroJeanne LehmanGeorge Dvorsky,   ... 
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 19 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews


On their first appearance in the late 1980s and early 1990s John McGlinn’s Broadway albums were much praised by Gramophone’s Adrian Edwards and others. And rightly so, for they offer a fresh, modern take on true American classics. Having missed these releases first time around, I was finally able to hunker down and enjoy Annie Get Your Gun – just one of several budget-price reissues from this stable. Factor in some fine voices – operatic baritone Thomas Hampson among them – and it’s not hard to see why these discs are self-recommending.
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Starting with ‘Ragtime Restaurant’ from Kern’s first complete score Red Petticoat – like Berlin’s Annie it’s a comedy Western – the characterful Hugh Panaro adds real class to this collection. Ditto Rebecca Luker, who made such a delightful impression as Winnie Tate. As for the London Sinfonietta and their enthusiastic chorus, they seem entirely at ease with these foot-tappin’ tunes. I particularly commend the jazzy brass, who play as if to the manner born. And there’s a languid charm to ‘Drift With Me’ from Love o’ Mike, the swaying choral line and Jeanne Lehman’s light, bright soprano a joy to hear.

Not all this music is equally memorable, but Panaro’s ‘I’m So Busy’ makes the most of Kern’s waltzy tune. McGlinn springing the dance rhythms with wonderful ease and naturalness. Meanwhile, ‘Till The Clouds Roll By’, penned by the great P.G. Wodehouse, is another of those deeply nostalgic tunes, reminiscent of enchanted evenings at the parental gramophone. Tenor George Dvorsky, who has an attractive, supple voice, is most enjoyable here and in his catchy ‘Whip-Poor-Will’, with Jeanne Lehman. The latter teams up with Rebecca Luker for a fine rendition of ‘The Bullfrog Patrol’, the orchestra as pointful as one could hope for.

The two numbers from Dear Sir find Kern in a winsome mood, the well-upholstered orchestration especially beguiling. But it’s the trip-tripping songs, such as ‘She Didn’t Say ‘Yes’’, that stay with you. And then there’s the film Men of the Sky, a Warner Bros release from 1931 that’s since vanished into the ether; the surviving song ‘Every Little While’ is a delight though, Dvorsky in melting voice. Again, one’s ear is irresistibly drawn to the nicely scaled playing of the London Sinfonietta. And what a pleasure to hear the firm, lyrical tones of Thomas Hampson in ‘The Song is You’ from one of Kern’s double acts with Hammerstein. Broadway tunes just don’t come more memorable than ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes’, movingly sung here by Jeanne Lehman.

The final tranche of songs includes Hampson at his most assured in ‘The Folks Who Live On The Hill’ – the trombone playing is fabulous, too – while the rest of the singers, including a stratospheric Lydia Milá, make a splendid ensemble in ‘Heaven In My Arms’ from Kern and Hammerstein’s last collaboration, Very Warm For May. Interesting that this 1939 hit was directed by Vincente Minnelli, who went on to direct the great MGM musicals Meet Me in St. Louis and An American in Paris. In many ways, this album belongs to the band, who prove they can boogie with the best in ‘Harlem Boogie-Woogie’. A splendid sign-off for a most enjoyable collection.

Broadway anthologies just don’t come much better than this. EMI’s spunky sound – this is an Abbey Road recording – is perfect for this repertoire, vocal and instrumental balances well judged throughout. Even the rather skimpy liner-notes and lack of song texts can’t dampen my enthusiasm for this terrific disc.

Dim the lights, crack open the Chardonnay and just enjoy.

-- Dan Morgan, MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
The Red Petticoat: The Ragtime Restaurant by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Rebecca Luker (Voice), Hugh Panaro (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1912; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 35 Secs. 
2.
Very Good Eddie: Babes in the Woods by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Hugh Panaro (Voice), Rebecca Luker (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1915; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
3.
Love o' Mike: Drift with Me by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Jeanne Lehman (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: Modern 
Length: 4 Minutes 20 Secs. 
4.
Have a Heart: I'm so Busy by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Hugh Panaro (Voice), Rebecca Luker (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: Modern 
Length: 4 Minutes 12 Secs. 
5.
Oh, Boy!: Till the Clouds Roll By by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Rebecca Luker (Voice), George Dvorsky (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1917; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
6.
Sally: Whip-poor-will by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Jeanne Lehman (Voice), George Dvorsky (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: Modern 
Length: 4 Minutes 54 Secs. 
7.
She's a Good Fellow: The Bullfrog Patrol by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Rebecca Luker (Voice), Jeanne Lehman (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
8.
Dear Sir: I Want to Be There by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Rebecca Luker (Voice), George Dvorsky (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: Modern 
Length: 4 Minutes 40 Secs. 
9.
Dear Sir: Wishing Well Scene by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Rebecca Luker (Voice), George Dvorsky (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: Modern 
Length: 7 Minutes 52 Secs. 
10.
The Cat and the Fiddle: She Didn't Say "Yes" by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Jeanne Lehman (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1931; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 24 Secs. 
11.
Every Little While by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Jeanne Lehman (Voice), George Dvorsky (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 39 Secs. 
12.
Music in the Air: In Egern on the Tegern See by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Jeanne Lehman (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: Modern 
Length: 2 Minutes 46 Secs. 
13.
Music in the Air: The Song is You by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1932; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 10 Secs. 
14.
Roberta: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Jeanne Lehman (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1933; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 35 Secs. 
15.
High, Wide and Handsome: The Folks Who Live on the Hill by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1937; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 16 Secs. 
16.
Very Warm for May: Heaven in My Arms by Jerome Kern
Performer:  George Dvorsky (Voice), Lydia Milla (Voice), Jeanne Lehman (Voice),
Hugh Panaro (Voice), Rebecca Luker (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Length: 5 Minutes 23 Secs. 
17.
The Last Time I Saw Paris by Jerome Kern
Performer:  Thomas Hampson (Voice)
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
Length: 4 Minutes 26 Secs. 
18.
Very Warm for May: Harlem Boogie-Woogie by Jerome Kern
Conductor:  John McGlinn
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 

Sound Samples

The Red Petticoat: The Ragtime Restaurant
Very Good, Eddie: Babes in the Wood
Love o' Mike: Drift With Me
Have a Heart: I'm So Busy
Oh Boy!: Till the Clouds Roll By
Zip Goes a Million: Whip-Poor-Will
She's a Good Fellow: The Bullfrog Patrol
Dear Sir: I Want to Be There
Dear Sir: Wishing Well Scene
The Cat and the Fiddle: She Didn't say 'Yes'
Men of the Sky: Every little while
Music in the Air: In Egern of the Tegern See
Music in the Air: The Song is You
Roberta: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
High, Wide and Handsome: The Folks Who Live On the Hill
Very Warm for May: Heaven In My Arms
The Last Time I Saw Paris
Very Warm for May: Harlem Boogie-Woogie

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