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Hoagy Sings Carmichael

4.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 29, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This classic album was recorded by Hoagy for Pacific Jazz in 1956, and featured the old music master doing his own songs backed by Johnny Mandel's charts and a killer band of Art Pepper, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Don Fagerquist and Jimmy Rowles. It's sublime. Includes Georgia on My Mind; Winter Moon; New Orleans; Memphis in June; Skylark; Two Sleepy People; Baltimore Oriole; Rockin' Chair; Ballad in Blue; Lazy River , and, as a bonus, an instrumental version of Georgia on My Mind .

Amazon.com

In 1956, 57-year-old Hoagy Carmichael, a giant of American songsmiths, recorded this album for Hollywood's progressive Pacific Jazz label. Johnny Mandel's swinging, uncluttered arrangements placed Carmichael, a product of the 1920s Jazz Age, in an unadulterated modern-jazz setting true to both his past and the current scene. Representing the latter were several top exponents of the West Coast school that the label helped nurture, most notably the principal soloist: alto sax giant Art Pepper. Mandel's arrangements and Pepper's cool, rich eloquence clearly forced normally amiable, laid-back Carmichael to alter his usual approach somewhat. A subtle yet discernable edge permeated his interpretations of "Georgia on My Mind" and "Rockin' Chair" and rendered his vocal on the bluesy "Baltimore Oriole" unusually raw. Two lesser-known ballads, "Winter Moon" and "Ballad in Blue," are beautifully presented, and Mandel's joyously explosive, Basie-esque "Lazy River" unleashed Carmichael's playful side. While his songs are timeless, hearing a man then pushing 60 having a ball with musicians old enough to be his kids is always both exhilarating and inspirational. --Rich Kienzle
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 29, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note
  • ASIN: B000008E11
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #153,186 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Zimmelman on March 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A must buy. Out of print for sometime. Winter Moon will knock you out. The album is high fidelity recorded live to two-track tape. The disc is a mirror copy of that tape. A desert island pick. True lost gem. Buy it now. You have been warned!
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Mine is the same old story about the lost LP that then went out of print..Been waiting for this re-release for about a year. Nothing to fault here: Carmichael's songs are wonderful his relaxed singing style is perfectly complemented by exquisite arrangements and....Art Pepper!
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Believe the other reviews and this one too. Truly one of the most enjoyable CD's I have. Hoagy's singing style will knock you out! And Art Pepper, well, what else do I have to say? This is one of those too good to be true albums. You just couldn't make it better if you tried.
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This is a classic vocal-jazz masterpiece, if you like Jack Teagarden's singing you'll also enjoy this. Charmichael's laid back style of singing with such jazz giants as Art Pepper is a jazz lovers dream come true. Highlights are "Georgia On My Mind", "Skylark" and many others. Absolutly stunning set of classic Charmichael tunes. If you like this you might also try "The Fred Astaire Story" a 2-CD set out on Verve with the JATP.
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By A Customer on September 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is true jazz singing, and unbelievably relaxed. A treasure of an album. The backing is ideal. The cover photograph is a great portrait, too. Don't miss Hoagy's autobiographies (two versions in one book), which give his memories of the 1920s and how he came to write his songs.
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I've played this uniquely beautiful cd over and over since my recent purchase.Hoagy's kind of rough and bluesy voice combined with the absolute perfection of the jazz accompaniment creates a haunting loveliness.I especially love his rendition of (his favorite of all his songs) "Baltimore Oriole".
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Hoagy Carmichael wrote songs we're all familiar with, but it's rare to hear him sing them. He's not the singer Sinatra was, but he has a marvelous relaxed style all his own. The band backing him on this CD is made up of some of the very best West Coast jazz musicians of the 50s. Art Pepper, on alto sax, puts in one of his finest performances here. As I said, a lot of these tunes are familiar to the point of being cliches, but these renditions have an authenticity that keeps them from ever being boring, and when a lesser known gem like Winter Moon comes up it's a revelation.
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This man is the very best of the best. He has an imagination and creative streak that amazes. He wrote a lot with Johnny Mercer so, you would do well to research the team. My very favorite is the vocabulary and variety he was able to play in. He was an innovator of great jazz all of which is very easy listening. Sad that he's gone now and his better will never happen!
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