CD The Cy Coleman Songbook (CD 138013),
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The Cy Coleman Songbook
1. Use What You Got / Big Spender
2. Real Live Girl / You Fascinate Me So
3. It Amazes Me
4. Bigger Isn't Better
5. Love Makes Such Fools Of Us All / On Second Thought / Come Summer
6. I've Got Your Number / Witchcraft
7. Colors of My Life, The
8. Tin Pan Alley
9. Would You Believe / A Moment Of Madness
10. When in Rome
11. Here I Go Again
12. Sweet Talk / I Want To Be Yours
13. Let Me Down Easy / I Can't Let You Go
14. Do Be a Darling
15. Nobody Does It Like Me / Why Try To Change Me Now
16. Here's To Us / Little Me
17. Hey, Look Me Over
18. Don't Ask a Lady
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 5252
Personnel: Julie Wilson (vocals); William Roy (piano).
Recorded live at The Algonquin Hotel Oak Room, New York, New York on October 9, 1999. Includes liner notes by James Gavin.
Twelve days before her 75th birthday, Julie Wilson appeared in the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel in New York and recorded this live album, her sixth songbook collection for DRG Records, devoted to the music of Cy Coleman. As usual, she was accompanied only by William Roy on piano and, in some cases, duet vocals. As usual, Roy also arranged the selections, often into two- and in one case three-song medleys. It wouldn't be surprising to discover that Coleman himself also had a hand in the selections, since the set included songs from musicals that were never produced and songs that were cut from shows that were. Also featured were some of Coleman's best and best-known songs -- "Big Spender," "Real Live Girl," "Witchcraft," "The Colors of My Life," "When in Rome," "Why Try to Change Me Now," "Hey, Look Me Over" (though, oddly, not "The Best Is Yet to Come" or "If My Friends Could See Me Now"). The songs were perhaps the most suited to the veteran cabaret singer since her Stephen Sondheim songbook; Sondheim has written many songs for mature women, but Coleman has the advantage of having collaborated with two major female lyricists, Carolyn Leigh and Dorothy Fields. That meant some of the songs seemed custom-made, such as the closing encore, "Don't Ask a Lady" (by Leigh), and the comic song of upper-class favor-seeking, "Do Be a Darling" (by Fields, from the unproduced musical Eleanor). But Wilson made all the material her own, acknowledging her age while also defying it. (It takes guts for a septuagenarian to open a show with the prostitute's come-on "Big Spender.") It was hard to imagine that there would be many more installments in the songbook series, but if this was to be Wilson's last album, she was going out on top. ~ William Ruhlmann
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DRG (USA) 5252
E1 Distribution (USA)
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