What a jazz listening delight to enjoy and review HOAGY CARMICHAEL --- THE STARDUST ROAD CONCERT. This CD contains 27 selections including comments! Recorded before a highly appreciative and enthusiastic audience, each performer gives a standout performance. Recorded on May 13, 2000, in Sprague Hall, at Yale University.
This is a most enjoyable new look at an American songwriter who was as important as Hart, Rogers, Gershwin, and Kern. The work opens with Carmichael's "Lazy River" (1931). Other songs include "The Nearness of You" (1937), "Georgia On My Mind" (1930), "Heart and Soul" (1938), "Skylark" (1941), "Stardust" (1928), among others.
This CD is both enjoyable as a historical jazz commentary and as a collection of jazz performances featuring Richard Lalli, Amy Justman, Christian Sands, Parris Mann, & The Ken Todd Quartet (Harold Danko, piano; Arti Dixson, drums; Jeff Fuller, bass; Ken Todd on tenor and alto saxophone, clarinet and alto flute.) Jerry Dunklee is the Master of Ceremonies.
UrbanDisk has successfully given jazz listeners an intimate musical look at composer/performer Hoagy Carmichael, and the production values on this UrbanDisk CD are perfect. Special attention should be given to the wonderful piano stylings of pianists Harold Danko and Christian Sands, and all those who made this fine collection come to life in such a memorable listening experience. HOAGY CARMICHAEL --- THE STARDUST ROAD CONCERT is a winner! Excellent! The Ken Todd Quartet is topnotch!
A quote from Hoagy Carmichael seems a fitting way to conclude this review of the CD, and it is taken from the CD liner notes: "Looking back, I think what nearly drove me insane was that I didn't know whether jazz was a passing fad and I was kidding myself, or whether it was so large and overwhelming that it might destroy me."
As soon as you can, get a copy of this CD and discover the music that was Hoagy Carmichael, and his remarkable contributions to American jazz. Five stars.