CD Barbara Lea and Keith Ingham Are Mad About the Boy: The Songs of Noel of Coward (CD 893246),
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Barbara Lea and Keith Ingham Are Mad About the Boy: The Songs of Noel of Coward

  • 1. Zigeuner
    2. There Will Always Be
    3. Twentieth Century Blues
    4. Mad About the Boy
    5. Chase Me Charlie
    6. Never Again
    7. Sigh No More
    8. If Love Were All
    9. Sail Away
    10. Room with a View, A
    11. Poor Little Rich Girl
    12. Medley: Someday I'll Find You/I'll See You Again/I'll Follow My Secret: Someday I'll Find You / I'll See You Again / I'll Follow My Secret Heart
    13. Something Very Strange
    14. Nina
    15. Come the Wild, Wild Weather
    16. When You Want Me
    17. Play, Orchestra, Play
    18. You Were There
    19. World Weary
    20. Party's Over Now, The
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 70073

  • Credits
    ProducerBarbara Lea; Keith Ingham; Barbara Lea; Keith Ingham
    EngineerMike Brorby; Mike Brorby

    Personnel: Barbara Lea (vocals); Barbara Lea; Greg Cohen, Murray Wall (double bass); Keith Ingham (piano); Steve Little (drums).
    Recording information: Acoustic Sound, Brooklyn, NY (03/08/1999-03/09/1999).
    Arranger: Keith Ingham.
    The assumption of this tribute album's producers is that the music of Nol Coward is generally undervalued, especially by jazz musicians. They believe that Coward's songs are as susceptible to jazz treatment as those by the Gershwins, Kern, and Berlin. Artie Shaw's swing arrangement of "Zigeuner" is cited to "prove" that Coward's work can be jazzed up. Challenge Records has compiled 20 songs from Coward's productions covering the period 1928 to 1961. Highly admired cabaret singer Barbara Lea and accompanist supreme Keith Ingham work mightily to validate the producer's assumption. While not strictly jazz musicians, they certainly have a jazzy ambience about their work. Several of Coward's better-known tunes, like "Mad About the Boy," "Someday I'll Find You," "I'll Follow My Secret Heart," and "Zigeuner" are featured on the album. Ingham does some fine stride piano playing on "Poor Little Rich Girl," making it one of the highlights of the album. Lea, who has been performing since the '50s, comes from the vocal tradition that lyrics should be sung straight without distorting them with such vocal techniques as scatting and swooping. Other notable vocalists holding that performing philosophy include Mabel Mercer, Sylvia Sims, Elisabeth Welch, and Lee Wiley. On this album, Lea is at the top of her game. So why doesn't this disc make it? Because the music of Nol Coward, genius or no, can't support a 72-minute CD. While some of the cuts are quite witty, like "Chase Me Charlie" and the misadventures of "Nina," most of them mirror the trials and tribulations of the world-weary, dissolute, and bored, as revealed in the likes of "If Love Were All" and the aptly named "World Weary." Most of what Coward wrote is just not that musically interesting, and has not aged well. Nonetheless, for Coward devotees, it's not likely they will come upon more accomplished interpretations of his music than those dispensed on this album by Lea and Ingham. ~ Dave Nathan

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