CD Brian Stokes Mitchell (CD 1072714),
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Brian Stokes Mitchell

  • 1. Something's Coming
    2. Best Is Yet to Come, The
    3. Pretty Women
    4. Just in Time
    5. Lazy Afternoon
    6. Another Hundred People/Take the "A" Train
    7. How Long Has This Been Going On?
    8. Life Is Sweet
    9. Losing My Mind
    10. Being Alive
    11. How Glory Goes
    12. Grateful
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 80980

  • Credits
    ProducerBrian Stokes Mitchell; Brian Stokes Mitchell
    EngineerJan Folkson; Jim Czak; Joe Arlotta; Artie Friedman; Wayne Warnecke

    Personnel: Brian Stokes Mitchell (keyboards); Brian Stokes Mitchell (vocals); Rob Mathes (guitar, piano, keyboards); Dan Warner, Steve Bargonetti (guitar); Elizabeth Lim Dutton, Yergenia Strenger, Michael Roth , Wen Qian, Laura Frautschi, Susan Heerema, Xin Zhao, Margaret Magill, Marion Pinheiro, Sandra Park, Regis Iandiorio, Todd Reynolds , Sharon Yamada, Carol Pool, Avril Brown (violin); Daniel Panner, Richard Brice, Ralph Farris, Juliet Haffner, Nick Cords, Vivek Kamath (viola); Marco Lienhard (shakuhachi, woodwinds); Shelley Woodworth (oboe, English horn); David Andrew Mann (woodwinds, saxophone, soprano saxophone); Andy Snitzer, Charles Pillow (woodwinds, saxophone); Aaron Heick, Kenny Berger, Scott Kreitzer, Walt Weiskopf (woodwinds); Dave Rogers, Greg Ruvolo, Kamau Adilifu, Jeff Kievit, Scott Wendholt, Barry Danielian , Tony Kadleck, Jim Hynes (trumpet); Daniel Culpepper, Jerry Peel (French horn); George Flynn (trombone, bass trombone); Jeff Nelson & Covenant, Herb Besson, Randy Andos, Birch Johnson (trombone); Yaron Gershovsky, Andy Ezrin, Lee Musiker (piano); Jay Leonhart (bass instrument, acoustic bass); David Finck, Ben Brown , Mark Egan, Zev Katz (acoustic bass); Brian Grice, Shawn Pelton, Brian Brake, Buddy Williams (drums); Bill Hayes , Bashiri Johnson (percussion); Mike Renzi (piano); Joe Cocuzzo (drums).
    Audio Mixer: Al Schmitt.
    Recording information: Avatar Studios, New York, NY (04/2000-01/2006); Backpocket Studios (04/2000-01/2006); Manhattan Center Studios (04/2000-01/2006); Nola Recording Studios (04/2000-01/2006); Peaceful Waters Music (04/2000-01/2006); Studio 251 Plantation, FL (04/2000-01/2006); Times Square Recording Company (04/2000-01/2006).
    Arrangers: Brian Stokes Mitchell; Mike Renzi; Don Sebesky; John Bucchino; Rob Mathes.
    Brian Stokes Mitchell's first solo album has been a long time coming and, as revealed in the annotations, a long time in preparation; recording spread over nearly six years, from April 2000 to January 2006. As Mitchell notes, during that period he was busy doing other things, notably appearing in Broadway musicals and performing on their cast albums. As he is too modest to point out, he also became Broadway's biggest male star by reinventing such shows as Man of La Mancha and South Pacific. Not surprisingly, his debut album revisits more Broadway material, which is given fresh orchestrations by several hands, including his own. But while his singing is always expressive and elastic, the results are not always impressive. "Something's Coming" from West Side Story, which leads things off, is given an arrangement that would place it seamlessly on a Lionel Richie album of the 1980s, and other songs, such as "The Best Is Yet to Come" and "How Long Has This Been Going On?," have been done so many times by now that there may be no good new ways to do them. Even a master of reinvention like Mitchell can only add his renditions to the already huge pile. More effective are the less familiar songs he can dig his teeth into, such as the vibrant "Life Is Sweet" and the gospel-tinged closer, John Bucchino's "Grateful." Another success is the intermingling of Billy Strayhorn's Duke Ellington anthem "Take the 'A' Train" with Stephen Sondheim's "Another Hundred People." But Mitchell shies away from doing big, dramatic performances here. There's no "This Nearly Was Mine," as there was in his South Pacific, and no "The Impossible Dream" either. He has a lot more voice than he displays on this album, and it may leave his musical theater fans wondering why more of his abilities were not used. ~ William Ruhlmann

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