Happy Songs CD (2002)

Artist: Audra Mcdonald

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Product Overview


Label Nonesuch Records
SKU 60568397
UPC 075597964523
UPC 14 00075597964523
Format CD
Release Date 9/17/2002
Author Audra Mcdonald
Associated Artist/Work Original Cast
Technical Info
Engineer Joel Moss
Producer Tommy Krasker
CatalogID 7559796452
Lable Name Nonesuch (USA)
Released 09/09/2002
Original Release 2002
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 43m : 54s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00075597964523
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel includes: Audra McDonald, Leo Daignault, Steven Freeman, David Engel (vocals); Kevin Kuhn (guitar, banjo); Suzanne Ornstein, Cecelia Hobbs, Laura Oatts, Andrew Stein (violin); Michael Nicholas, Debra Shufely (viola); Adam Grabois, Clay Ruede (cello); Grace Paradise (harp); Paul Sundfor (flute, piccolo, clarinet, alto & tenor saxophones); Rick Heckman (flute, clarinet, oboe, tenor saxophone, English horn); Mark Thrasher (clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone); Walter Weiskopf (clarinet); Craig Johnson, Larry Lunetta, Brian O'Flaherty (trumpet); Chris Komer (French horn); Michael Boschen (trombone); Lee Musiker, Ted Sperling (piano, celeste); Peter Donovan (bass); William Hayes, David Ratajczak (drums, percussion).
Recorded at The Hit Factory, Sound On Sound Studios, New York, New York between August 2001 & May 2002.
Personnel: David Engel, Steve Freeman, Leo Daignault (vocals); Kevin Kuhn (guitar, banjo); Grace Paradise (harp); Laura Oatts, Xin Zhao, Cecilia Hobbs, Suzanne Ornstein, Belinda Whitney (violin); Debra Shufelt, Michael Nicholas (viola); Adam Grabois, Clay Ruede (cello); Paul Sundfor (flute, piccolo, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Richard Heckman (flute, clarinet, oboe, English horn, tenor saxophone); Lawrence Feldman (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Mark Thrasher (clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone); Walt Weiskopf (clarinet); Brian O'Flaherty, Larry Lunetta (trumpet); Chris Komer (French horn); Michael Boschen, Mark Patterson , Jack Schatz (trombone); Ted Sperling, Lee Musiker (piano, celesta); Dave Ratajczak, Willie Hayes (drums, percussion).
Audio Mixer: Tom Lazarus.
Recording information: Sound on Sound Studios, New York, NY (08/2001-05/2002); The Hit Factory, New York, NY (08/2001-05/2002).
Editor: Jan Folkson.
Photographers: Pamela Springsteen; John Vachon.
Translator: John Ryle.
Arrangers: Ted Sperling; Eadie Griffith; Rack Godwin; Kevin Kuhn; Lee Musiker; Peter Donovan.
Audra McDonald's third album may be called Happy Songs, but the cover -- on which she is depicted in sepia tone, inserted into a photograph from the 1940s, dolled up in period getup, and looking like she's waiting for a train -- suggests that the title is intended ironically, a suggestion further documented by a perusal of the songs on the back cover, which include Irving Berlin's anti-lynching ballad "Supper Time" and Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler's "Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good)." The former song is associated with Ethel Waters and the latter with Aida Ward, while the leadoff track, "Ain't It de Truth?," was introduced by Lena Horne, and "I Must Have That Man!" was first sung by Adelaide Hall, all predecessors of McDonald as a black female musical theater star. By singing their songs, she embraces that heritage, and by singing so well, she demonstrates that she is their equal. But she also addresses the work of white female stars like Dinah Shore, who introduced "Tess' Torch Song," and Judy Garland, whose arrangement of Rodgers & Hart's "I Wish I Were in Love Again" is updated here, and she holds her own with them, too. Happy Songs is an affectionate look back at a more extravagant era of entertainment when women's emotions (as written for them by men) were expressed powerfully, and these songs explore the range of those feelings. The choices are sometimes daring, such as the wonderful, but long-forgotten Freddy Martin hit "I Double Dare You" from 1937, which McDonald handles with frenetic energy, and, stepping out of the long-ago past into the recent days of nightclub novelty, Jay Leonhart's song of comic romantic complaint, "Beat My Dog." Such numbers demonstrate that these can be "happy songs," even when the sentiments are less so. ~ William Ruhlmann
Disc 1
1 Ain't It De Truth?
2 Tess's Torch Song
3 I Must Have That Man!
4 Bambalele
5 I Wish I Were In Love Again
6 Supper Time
7 Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good)
8 Beat My Dog
9 On A Turquoise Cloud
10 More Than You Know
11 See What I Wanna See
12 He Loves And She Loves
13 I Double Dare You
14 Lose That Long Face
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