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Blues In The Night

25 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 22, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Making her Telarc debut, Ann Hampton Callaway comes out strong with Blues in the Night, featuring the title track she made famous in the musical 'Swing'. There are fiery original tunes such as 'I'm-Too-White to-Sing-the-Blues, ' 'Swingin'Away the Blues,' and 'Hip to Be Happy'. Ann brings in a cache of performers to guide her through the night including the DIVA Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Sherrie Maricle, her longtime accompanist Ted Rosenthal, Christian McBride, and Lewis Nash. Ann also performs a medley 'Stormy Weather / When the Sun Comes Out' with her sister Liz Callaway.

Amazon.com

On this album, jazz-cabaret singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway pays tribute to her hometown Chicago's best-known musical export, the blues—-though her take is largely devoid of that genre's pared-down grit, instead exploring two of its offshoots: a sophisticated, elusive melancholy and upbeat, horn-heavy swing jazz. Callaway's penchant for the latter is evidenced by the jumping opening track, "Swingin' Away the Blues" and the percolating "Lover Come Back to Me" (on which she integrates her trademark scat singing). A "blue" mood is evoked on, for instance, "Blue Moon" and a not-entirely-convincing take on Sondheim's "No One Is Alone." But Callaway is also among the rare performers in the cabaret scene to write some of her own material, and she obliges here as well, with good results on the humorous "The I'm-Too-White-to-Sing-the-Blues Blues" (on which she emulates brass instruments) and "Hip to Be Happy." --Elisabeth Vincentelli


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 22, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000GI3SVO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,361 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Little Jazz Bird on August 28, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is the CD where it all comes together for Ann Hampton Callaway. Finally a CD that captures the ebullience and daring of her thrilling live performances. The CDs opening trumpet riff is a herald, a sexy how do you do, announcing that something fabulous has indeed arrived. The first track SWINGING AWAY THE BLUES had me dancing in my chair and by the second time around I was singing along with the catchy hook. Hard to believe this is a Callaway original tune. It has the feeling of a familiar chestnut.

Tommy Newsom's (yes, THAT Tommy Newsom) big band arrangements swing effortlessly and the Diva Jazz Orchestra plays with brass and sass. But isn't this BLUES IN THE NIGHT? I thought I was going to hear a disc full of woe. I think this CD is more about longing than it is about actual sadness. AHC has an unerring sense of taste and her readings are always intelligent and sophisticated. Callaway takes the familiar swing format and bends it until it's blue on the big band numbers. With trio (Ted Rosenthal, Lewis Nash & Christian McBride) she sings with warmth and sensuality on numbers like IT'S ALL RIGHT WITH ME and SPRING CAN REALLY HANG YOU UP THE MOST.

Parts of this CD come back to me throughout the day and I can't wait to hit the start button again. I found it especially enjoyable on the car stereo. Hip Hip Hooray!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Martin on September 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Another gem from AHC, diva. It's no wonder she's won NYC's own "American Idol for the Pros" (the MAC Award) an astonishing 14 times! Miss Callaway's recently released "Blues in the Night" gifts listeners with an impressive range of songs encompassing depth and breadth of the human experience.

She has, to say the Least, mastered vocal performance. Her magnificent vocal quality, interpretations, phrasing, intonation, time and choices are always spot on. Her range is, as the youngsters say, sick. Just a few of the highlights of this project are Cole Porter's "It's All Right With Me," Stephen Sondheim's "No One Is Alone," as well as several new AHC originals! And, the hauntingly beautiful "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most."

The title cut gives those of us who didn't get to see her Tony-nominated performance in "Swing" a chance to dig "Blues in the Night" over and over again. And speaking of Broadway...the duet here with sister, Broadway favorite Liz Callaway, rates a Bravo-Standing-Ovation after each listening. This CD recharges the soul's spirit, so often chipped away by day-to-day challenges and, of course, the blues.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Canning on November 17, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Callaway's finest achievement -- and there have been many. It came out last summer, but talk about the bloom still on the rose five months later (11/21/06)!

Her soulful rendition of "Blue Moon" and the title track will remind you of "Dreamgirls"' Effie White (who says white girls can't wail?), she doubles your pleasure with sister Liz Callaway on a sensational "Stormy Weather/When the Sun Comes Out" medley, and her "It's All Right with Me" may have you asking, "Norah Who?"
"
She'll also have you laughing and swinging over her own witty composition, "The I'm-Too-White-To-Sing-The Blues Blues," and then turn around and break your heart with a wondrous rendition of Sondheim's hymnlike "No One Is Alone" that even the great Cleo Laine would envy.

If she doesn't get Grammified for Best Jazz Vocal Performance, the Grammy voters should be assassinated. This is a classic album!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rick Cornell VINE VOICE on October 2, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I reviewed Jackie Ryan's "Passion Flower" from 2002 with this same title. Since you're not supposed to repeat titles, I add "Part II."

Actually, the comparisons between Jackie Ryan and Ann Hampton Callaway are quite apt. Both have very rich, sultry contralto voices that could have been retrained in each case for opera. But both, although nominally jazz singers, are extremely versatile, able to sing in just about any musical idiom. Both have trained their voices, such that each has close to 3 octaves of beautiful sound. Both do wicked versions of "Lover Come Back To Me."

And both are underappreciated. I won't say underrated, because I suspect that those fans who know the work of either of these chanteusses are bowled over. But there just aren't enough of "them" in either case.

This album features Ms. Callaway in a variety of settings. She shines in all of them. Whether doing her "June Christy" bit ("Swingin' Away the Blues"), channelling her "inner Aretha" in a way to put all those "American Idol" pretenders to shame ("Blue Moon"), doing an "Ethel Waters' torch" on Johnny Mercer's torchiest song ever ("Blues in the Night"), showing off her self-deprecating humor ("Hip to Be Happy" and the tres witty "The I'm-Too-White-To-Sing-The-Blues", complete with a spot-on imitation of both a trumpet and an alto sax in the choruses), singing slowed-down, bluesy torch readings of the normally more ebullient "It's All Right With Me" and "Willow Weep For Me", or doing a terrific duet with her lighter-voiced sister, Liz ("Stormy Weather/When the Sun Comes Out"), Ms. Callaway impresses constantly.

I praised Maxjazz recently for releasing such terrific vocal jazz c.d.'s in recent times. Ditto to Telarc.
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