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Peggy Sings Jerry

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 23, 2012
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD Baby
  • ASIN: B007Y56SNW
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,629,413 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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If you haven't discovered Peggy Herman yet, now is the time. This is her sophomore album, and it's a gem. With a wonderfully expressive voice, nicely sitting in the middle register, Miss Herman sings some familiar and not-so-familiar Jerry Herman compositions. Smartly, she doesn't trot out all the usual Jerry Herman repertoire you find on other albums. And this album has some great arrangements that put a twist on some of the tunes, like the slowed down It's Today from Mame. In Herman's interpretation, it becomes a come hither ballad instead of an uptempo bouncy show tune. Thankfully, she returns to the poignancy of If He Walked into My Life instead of blasting it out that has become the norm. You can hear the ache in her voice. She gets sassy with the short but pungent Wherever He Ain't. The cleverness of I Won't Send Roses is outstanding. In it, Miss Herman takes both a male approach with a female response. I Won't Send Roses is the lovely sad ballad from the composer's Mack and Mabel musical failure but a failure containing some of his best compositions. This longing number becomes a mini-story in Miss Herman's hands ... and is oh-so-suitable for her style. Another bright twist is the Brazil-like samba beat behind the coupling of The Best of Times/Before the Parade Passes By, and it works! The album's only misstep is the attempt to jazz up the title song Mame, which simply doesn't lend itself to that treatment. It becomes too odd a number. Miss Herman is a belter when she wants to be, and she occasionally lets go, but it is always within the context of the song ... no straining here, like on The Best in the World. And just for sheer great singing and feeling there's Loving You and Song in the Sand/And I Was Beautiful. Herman has one of those voices to treasure ... you can feel all the emotions inherent in the material she chooses.
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I must admit I had never heard of Peggy Herman, I am not in the USA but I love all of Jerry Herman's music and have many other artists interpretations of his songs. On the back of the cover of the this CD is a quotation ..."Peggy's 'It's today' is a whole different kind of party"....that for sure, she's butchered every song ! maybe this works in a crowded bar joint, where nobody really listens, but I would not call this singing.
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