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Irving Berlin Songbook

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 5, 1991
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Editorial Reviews

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A crack six-piece band featuring Oscar Peterson, Barney Kessel, and bassist Ray Brown backed the sharp one on this 1952 session. Swinging in the most laidback way on a group of songs that are almost as much his as the composer's--the singer-dancer introduced all but one in his classic films--Astaire works the mic charmingly. Excellent for late-night listening or over the morning's first cup of coffee. --Rickey Wright
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 5, 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve
  • ASIN: B00000470C
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #315,494 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 19, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Fred Astaire is a legend. Anybody who doesn't realize his talent isn't very smart. He was amazing (And this is coming from a Christina Aguilera/Metallica/Eminem fan) and he was a fabulous dancer. This collection is phenomenal. Unfortunately, my friend gave this to me and only had the first disc, so I have to miss out on the second dics, which looks great. The first CD though is a gem on it's own. Puttin' On The Ritz is a classic, as is Steppin' Out. I can honestly say I listen to this about once or twice every two weeks (Which is a miracle because of my CD collection's size) and I can listen to it all the way through. This is a definite buy. If you want some American musical history, look no further.
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Format: Audio CD
There will never be another Fred Astaire. Even more sobering (if possible) is this: There will never be another Irving Berlin. Masters of their craft, these men literally gave us the Great American Songbook. Many of the songs here were written by Berlin expressly for Astaire, songs that first appeared in films such as Holiday Inn, Carefree, Follow the Fleet, Blue Skies, Top Hat, and of course, Easter Parade. And it's not hard to imagine why. Fred is, of course, known primarily as a dancer, but as a true song-and-dance man, he could do both very, very well. It's unfortunate that not enough is said of his singing -- that tender, persuasive voice that takes a song and sings it directly to your heart. If you've never heard the talents of Fred Astaire or the songs of Irving Berlin, then step right this way! I can't think of a better way to start you off on the right foot than with the Irving Berlin Songbook.
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Format: Audio CD
Fred Astaire proves that it phrasing and timing, and not voice, that make a great singer. This is a truly remarkable CD in all aspects. The sound quality, considering it was recorded in 1952, is superb. Astaire is in incomparable form, with the songs sounding much better than some of his earlier versions (this is the DEFINITIVE version of Puttin on the Ritz, for example). And the sextet supporting Astaire, including the marvelous Oscar Peterson at the keyboard, is as fine as any. Not to be missed for anyone who loves this genre. For a little more money, you can have the complete 2 CD version of this recording session featuring a variety of other songs by Porter, Gershwin, and others, entitled the Astaire Story. It is available on Amazon.com
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