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NEW RELEASES. Lerner & Loewe on ARBORS RECORDS

Publicat in: 30.09.2019, 06:50AM
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Comentarii: 0
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Etichete: Adrian Cunningham, Adrian Cunningham & His Friends Play Lerner & Loewe, Arbors Records, Counterpoint, Counterpoint Lerner & Loewe, Frederick Loewe, Lerner & Loewe
NEW RELEASES. Lerner & Loewe on ARBORS RECORDS

ARBORS RECORDS will celebrate the music of iconic composer Frederick Loewe this fall with two new

albums of songs from the legendary musicals of Lerner & Loewe performed by an astonishing array of jazz heavyweights. Counterpoint Lerner & Loewe features Dick Hyman on piano and Ken Peplowski on

clarinet and tenor sax. Adrian Cunningham & His Friends Play Lerner & Loewe features bandleader

and saxophonist/clarinetist/flautist Adrian Cunningham with Fred Hersch on piano, John Hébert on

bass and Eric McPherson on drums, with guest stars Randy Brecker on trumpet and Wycliffe Gordon

on trombone. Both albums will be available on streaming platforms, download and CD wherever music is sold on Friday, October 11.
 

When My Fair Lady was enjoying its hit run on Broadway after opening in 1956, Shelley Manne & His Friends’ seminal album, Modern Jazz Performances of My Fair Lady, became a cultural touchstone as the then bestselling jazz album of all time. Since then, such jazz luminaries as Quincy Jones, Nat King Cole, Oscar Peterson, Chet Baker, Billy Taylor, among many others, have presented their unique takes on the Lerner & Loewe catalogue – all the way through Dick Hyman and Ruby Braff’s collection in 1989.
 

Thirty years later, in that same grand tradition, these two new collections present pioneering interpretations of songs not only from household-name shows like My Fair Lady, Camelot and Brigadoon, but also from less frequently heard Lerner & Loewe properties like The Day Before Spring.
 

Hyman and Peplowski’s Counterpoint Lerner & Loewe displays the incomparable improvisational

connection between these two world-renowned artists in addition to a ground-breaking contrapuntal style – presenting well-loved melodies in unexpected and exhilarating ways. For instance, according to Ken, by giving “a classical kind of setting with these ominous chords underneath the melody” to My Fair Lady’s famously ardent “On the Street Where You Live,” the song takes on an almost solemn sound instead of its customary love-at-first-sight ebullience. Camelot’s usually haunting “Follow Me” gets a rhythmic bounce. Its lush romantic ballad “If Ever I Would Leave You” becomes stunningly simple. And the sweet, gentle melody of “Waitin’ for My Dearie” from Brigadoon is, instead, jaunty with a modern syncopation.
 

Hyman says of his musical relationship with Peplowski: “We’ve been working on contrapuntal playing for

some years now. Getting to unexpected territory is one of the pleasures of our collaboration: we listen to each other and we trust each other. Loewe’s music is very melodic, but it is our jazzman’s tradition to fill up the harmony, and to make the whole thing a little more adventurous. Sometimes we go off on strange tangents and kind of dare the other fellow to understand what we’re doing or create something in contrast, just to make something come out in ways we didn’t expect.”
 

Adrian Cunningham & His Friends Play Lerner & Loewe boasts the best possible mixture of written

charts and improvisation, demonstrating a variety of approaches to harmony, tempo and time signature.

Cunningham started the process with research. He explained: “I watched all the movies, My Fair Lady,

Camelot, Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon. It was helpful to put the numbers in context, having the music come from a real story, more than just notes on paper. I loved trawling through the characters, asking ‘What do they mean when they’re singing this melody?’ I knew the songs in the basic repertoire, but I wanted to go deeper, do some detective work, present songs that perhaps hadn’t been widely known. I am happy to create something fresh with vintage material. So much great American music can continue to be reborn and reshaped into something new.”
 

Cunningham embraced the idea of many of his versions would be significantly different from the originals, while preserving the essence of each selection. Thus, the meditative intention and connection to nature can still be heard in “I Talk to the Trees.” In “They Call the Wind Maria,” the chaotic nature of the wind is maintained through the fast tempo choices, the driving rhythm section ostinato, and the open, angular harmony. And “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” finds a context that is appropriately cheeky and playful, as Adrian creates a specific new groove for the melody section to play over.
 

On “The Heather on the Hill,” Fred Hersch comments: “I’ve played it for years, it’s just such a lovely sentiment. Loewe captured that little Scottish essence in that tune. You can visualize a place when you play it, the lyric is very descriptive, and it’s got a very nice form to it.” Cunningham, in turn, says, “I don’t think anybody can convey a ballad like Fred; it’s amazing the way he delivers harmony and supports you. That level of professionalism is just heavenly.”
 

“Loewe’s music brings something very special to the jazz world,” continues Hersch, “because of its roots in classical operetta. The modulations were a little more daring, going to farther key centers, different forms.” Hersch chooses “Just You Wait” as a favorite – beloved from My Fair Lady but rarely heard in a jazz context. “It’s such a great character song,” he says, “and often what enters the repertoire are not specific character songs. But ones like this, with a sentiment that speaks to everybody, can work as standalone pieces.”
 

***
 

These two albums together celebrate the reinvention of a catalogue of glorious songs – in some cases almost 75 years after they were first played – introducing a new generation to the music and magic of Lerner & Loewe. DICK HYMAN, who was born in 1927 and graduated from Columbia University in 1948, has worked as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director and composer throughout a long and busy musical career that got underway in the early 1950s. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. While developing a masterful facility for improvisation in his own piano style, Hyman has also investigated ragtime and the earliest periods of jazz and researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller. Other solo recordings include the music of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington.

 



DICK HYMAN, who was born in 1927 and graduated from Columbia University in 1948, has worked as a pianist, organist, arranger, music director and composer throughout a long and busy musical career that got underway in the early 1950s. His versatility in all of these areas has resulted in film scores, orchestral compositions, concert appearances and well over 100 albums recorded under his own name. While developing a masterful facility for improvisation in his own

piano style, Hyman has also investigated ragtime and the earliest periods of jazz and researched and recorded the piano music of Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, James P. Johnson, Eubie Blake and Fats Waller. Other solo recordings include the music of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers and Duke Ellington.
 

Hyman’s early club engagements in New York included Café Society, playing with Tony Scott’s Quartet; Bop City with the Red Norvo Sextet; and various 52nd Street clubs with Sol Yaged and others. He began his recording and broadcasting career with Alvy West’s Little Band. He joined the NBC staff orchestra for five years in the 1950s, performed with Eddie Safranski’s morning radio show in addition to Milt DeLugg’s orchestra on the Morey Amsterdam Show, and was an organist on soap operas and game shows.
 

He became a freelance pianist, organist, arranger, composer, music director for many radio, television, and Broadway shows, for example, acting as music director for Arthur Godfrey for three years, as organist on the TV program “Beat the Clock” for five years and as arranger and orchestrator of the Broadway musical Sugar Babies. He served as music director for such television programs as Benny Goodman’s final appearance (on PBS) and for “In Performance at the White House.” Under contract to MGM Records, his hit recording of “Mack the Knife” from The Threepenny Opera was followed by many albums. He moved to Command Records, where his recording of “The Minotaur” on the Moog synthesizer landed on the Billboard charts in 1969.

Hyman’s original movie scores include Moonstruck starring Cher as well as many films for Woody Allen, including The Purple Rose of Cairo, Bullets Over Broadway and Stardust Memories. He also composed many commercials for Edel Music, and dance scores for Twyla Tharp, the Cleveland Ballet and others.


He has also been the arranger/music director/soloist for, among others, Count Basie, the Mills Brothers, Kay Starr, Margaret Whiting, Tony Bennett, Cozy Cole, Enoch Light, Ethel Ennis, Leonard Feather, Gail Garnett, Urbie Green, Roy Hamilton, Al Hirt, Bill Hayes, Jonah Jones, J.J. Johnson, Jessye Norman, Maxine Sullivan, Flip Phillips, Robert White, Doc Severinsen, Sandy Stewart, the Kirby Stone Four, Sam “The Man” Taylor and Barry Manilow. He was a frequent

guest with Jim Cullum’s Riverwalk Band in San Antonio and a soloist on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” and accompanied Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie during their unique television appearance in 1951.


He served as pianist and organist for recordings by The Drifters, Ivory Joe Hunter, LaVern Baker, Pearl Bailey, Al Caiola, Tony Mottola, The Ray Charles Singers, Perry Como, The Four Lads, Georgia Gibbs, The Harmonicats, Neal Hefti, Billie Holiday, Quincy Jones, Joni James, Andre Kostelanetz, Johnny Mathis, Mitch Miller, Jane Morgan, Louis Prima, Perez Prado, Kate Smith, Joe Venuti, Bill Watrous and others. In 1975, he led the New York Jazz Repertory Company in a concert of the music of Louis Armstrong at Carnegie Hall, produced by George Wein. Recordings on Atlantic Records followed, as well as tours of Europe and numerous U.S. concerts. Duets and collaborations include recent work with, among others, Derek Smith, Ruby Braff and John Sheridan.


He is a frequent soloist for concerts with conductor Yaacov Bergman. Mr. Hyman’s concert compositions include two piano concerti, a clarinet concerto for Ken Peplowski, various chamber music pieces and many pieces for piano. He has been heard in “Three-Piano Crossover” with the late Marian McPartland and Ruth Laredo and in numerous pops concerts. He served as artistic director of the acclaimed Jazz in July series at New York’s 92nd Street Y for twenty years.

Hyman’s box set Century of Jazz Piano is a historical survey comprising 121 audio performances plus a disc of DVD instruction. Mr. Hyman has also had a prolific career in New York as a studio musician and has won seven “Most Valuable Player” awards from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He received an Emmy for his original score for the daytime drama “Sunshine’s on the Way” and another for musical direction of a PBS special on Eubie Blake. He is

a member of the Jazz Hall of Fame of the Rutgers Institute and the New Jersey Jazz Society. In 2017, Mr. Hyman received the Jazz Master Award from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as an honorary doctorate from the Julliard School of Music.
 

KEN PEPLOWSKI played his first professional engagement while still in elementary school in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his trumpet-playing brother Ted made many local radio and TV appearances and played for Polish dances and weddings virtually every weekend all through high-school. By the time Ken was in his early teens, he was experimenting with jazz by playing in the school “stage” bands and also jamming with many of the local jazz musicians.

After a year of college, Ken joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra under the direction of Buddy Morrow. Peplowski met Sonny Stitt while on the road with the Dorsey band and studied with him. In 1980, Ken moved to New York City and was soon playing in all kinds of settings, from traditional to avant-garde jazz. In 1984, Benny Goodman came out of retirement and put together a new band, hiring Ken on tenor saxophone. Peplowski signed with Concord Records and recorded close to 20 albums as a leader, including The Natural Touch in 1992 which won “Best Jazz Record of the Year” from the Prises Deutschen Schallplatten Kritiken, and The Other Portrait, recorded in Sofia, Bulgaria with the Bulgarian National Symphony, and highlighting Ken’s classical side. He also recorded two records on the Nagel Heyer label, Lost in the Stars and Easy To Remember, the latter featuring Bobby Short on his last recording. He has performed in venues from small clubs to the Hollywood Bowl, headlined in Las Vegas, the Newport Jazz Festival, pops concerts, European festivals and clubs, played at home in New York, and has done everything from playing on the soundtracks to Woody Allen movies to guest soloing on records including for Marianne Faithfull and Cuban vocalist Isaac Delgado to acting as music director for interactive French and Italian cookbooks (“Menus And Music”). The list of musicians with whom Ken has collaborated includes Mel Tormé, Leon Redbone, Charlie Byrd, Peggy Lee, George Shearing, Madonna, Hank Jones, Dave Frishberg, Rosemary Clooney, Tom Harrell, James Moody, Cedar Walton, Houston Person, Steve Allen, Bill Charlap and Erich Kunzel. Ken is currently artistic director of the Sarasota Jazz Festival, the Newport Beach Jazz Party and the Newport, Oregon Jazz Festival. His latest album is Amizade, a duo recording with Brazilian guitarist Diego Figuereido, also on Arbors Records.
 

ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and world traveler. Originally from Sydney, Australia and now based in New York, Adrian is proving to be one of his country’s top exports. With fluent command of the saxophones, clarinet, and flute, he is one of the finest multi-instrumentalists in jazz today. Adrian is the recipient of the Hot House Saxophone Award for 2017. Adrian’s band, Professor Cunningham and His Old School, is the winner of international band competition World Jam (Madrid: 2016, 2017) and Best Band Award at 2017 Harlem Festival (Vilnius, Lithuania). When he is not busy performing in New York with some of its finest players, he is touring the world playing jazz festivals and swing events.


Since relocating to New York City in 2008, Adrian has performed at some of the Big Apple’s finest clubs, including The Blue Note, Smalls, Birdland, 55 Bar, Apollo Theatre, Fat Cat, Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center and even an event at the hallowed Village Vanguard. He has played with such jazz stars as Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Jon Batiste, George Coleman Jr., Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton, Ted Rosenthal, Chris Potter and René Marie. Adrian is currently performing with world-class trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, including a performance at the London Jazz Festival and a recording in Abbey Road Studios alongside Wess Anderson, Reginald Veal and Herlin Riley. Adrian’s travels with the Wycliffe Gordon quintet have also included appearances at the Johannesburg Jazz Festival, Bern Jazz Festival (Switzerland), Newport Jazz Festival and regular performances in New York at Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Adrian has also appeared on two of Wycliffe’s albums to rave reviews (“One of the unexpected joys [of the album] is the rich, woody clarinet of Cunningham,” Hot House NYC).


In 2013 Cunningham formed a traditional New Orleans-style outfit called Professor Cunningham and His Old School, deeply rooted in the jazz tradition. They have become one of the top bands on the international Swing scene, performing at the Blue Note Jazz Festival (NYC), Melbourne International Jazz Festival (Australia), Sopot Molo Jazz Festival (Poland), Snowball (Stockholm), SLOX (California), CPH:LX (Copenhagen) and Melbourne International Jazz Festival.
 

Cunningham also has a busy individual jazz festival schedule, including repeat appearances at the North Carolina Jazz Festival, Central Illinois Jazz Festival, Newport and also concerts at the famous Gennett studios (Richmond, Indiana). Additional international festival credits include Montreux Jazz Festival (3 times), Johannesburg, Japan, London, Tokyo and Sopot Molo (Poland). From 2014 to 2017, Adrian was the leader of the saxophone section of the Grammy-winning Vince Giordano and the

Nighthawks, a NYC-based 1920s swing orchestra responsible for the soundtracks for “Boardwalk Empire” and movies including The Aviator. As a leader, he has recorded ten CDs and two DVDs both in Australia with his quartet and also in New York through Arbors Records. His 2017 release Jazz Speak, recorded with jazz stars Jeff Hamilton, John Clayton and Ted Rosenthal, broke the top 20 in the U.S. national JazzWeek charts.

 

FREDERICK LOEWE (1901—1988) composed the scores for some of the American theater’s most memorable musicals, including My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon, Paint Your Wagon and Gigi, all written with his lyricist-partner Alan Jay Lerner. A musical prodigy by age four, Fritz Loewe was born in Berlin to Austrian parents. His father was a renowned tenor who originated the role of Prince Danilo in The Merry Widow in 1906. Raised in the Viennese operetta tradition, Loewe studied in Berlin with famous pianist-composers Ferruccio Busoni and Eugen d’Albert and composer Emil von Rezniek. At 13, he was the youngest piano soloist ever to play with the Berlin Philharmonic and the sheet music for “Katrina,” a popular song Loewe wrote when he was 15, eventually sold over one million copies. In 1924, after touring the United States with his father, Loewe chose to stay in America intending to become a concert pianist and write for Broadway.

Instead, for the next decade, Loewe worked at a variety of odd jobs, including cattle punching, gold prospecting and prize fighting, as well as playing piano in clubs and in movie theaters accompanying silent films. During the 1930s, he contributed music to a number of Broadway revues and shows, none of which met with much success. In 1942, Loewe approached Lerner at the Lambs Club in New York to talk about collaborating on a show, and thus began one of Broadway’s most extraordinary and productive partnerships. Their first Broadway venture, What’s Up?, opened on Broadway in 1943 and ran for only 63 performances. It was followed two years later by The Day Before Spring, a moderate success which ran for 167 performances. In 1947, Lerner and Loewe had their first Broadway hit, Brigadoon, followed in 1951 by a second hit with Paint Your Wagon, which included such songs as “They Call the Wind Maria,” “I Talk to the Trees,” “Another Autumn” and “Wand’rin’ Star.” Both featured choreography by the legendary Agnes DeMille.


In 1956, My Fair Lady, starring Rex Harrison and Julie Andrews, opened on Broadway to universal acclaim. Often called “the perfect musical,” the show ran for 2,717 performances and the cast album sold more than five million copies. Their 1958 film musical, Gigi, won nine Academy Awards and in 1960 came their last great success, Camelot, with Richard Burton and Julie Andrews. In 1974, Lerner lured Loewe out of retirement to work on their last venture together: the film version of Antoine de St Exupéry’s The Little Prince. Brigadoon was presented in an all-star concert production at New York’s City Center in 2017 and an acclaimed Broadway revival of My Fair Lady just concluded a triumphant run at Lincoln Center Theater and is headed for a national tour.


ARBORS RECORDS was founded in 1989 by Rachel and Mat Domber (1928–2012) with the goal of recording and preserving classic styles of jazz. Though by profession a lawyer in New York with real estate interests in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Florida, Mat was, at heart, an ardent jazz fan, record collector and listener, beginning with his visits to Nick’s in Greenwich Village as a pre-teen. Arbors has, since the time of its first release, issued almost 450 CDs, featuring such artists as Bucky Pizzarelli, Dave Frishberg, Nicki Parrott, Ruby Braff, Bob Wilber, Harry Allen, Dan Barrett, Warren Vache, Bob Haggart, Rebecca Kilgore, Johnny Varro, George Masso, Bobby Gordon and Jacob Fischer, to name only a few. And while the label may have started with Dixieland, Arbors — now run by Mat’s widow and fellow jazz enthusiast and advocate Rachel Domber — currently embraces traditional, contemporary and classic jazz and the swing styles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. And, regardless of the era, all of its recordings have in common a reverence for talent and a love of melody, improvisation and swing. Arbors sponsors the Suncoas Jazz Classic in Clearwater Beach, FL.


DICK HYMAN & KEN PEPLOWSKI

“COUNTERPOINT LERNER & LOEWE”

TRACK LIST

1. Waitin’ for My Dearie (from Brigadoon)

2. I Could Have Danced All Night (from My Fair Lady)

3. They Call the Wind Maria (from Paint Your Wagon)

4. Gigi – Tenor Sax (from Gigi)

5. Gigi – Piano (from Gigi)

6. I Talk to the Trees (from Paint Your Wagon)

7. Almost Like Being in Love (from Brigadoon)

8. Follow Me (from Camelot)

9. On the Street Where You Live (from My Fair Lady)

10. You Haven’t Changed at All

(from The Day Before Spring)

11. Show Me (from My Fair Lady)

12. If Ever I Would Leave You (from Camelot)

13. A Jug of Wine (from The Day Before Spring)

14. Thank Heaven for Little Girls (from Gigi)
 

“ADRIAN CUNNINGHAM & HIS FRIENDS

PLAY LERNER & LOEWE”

TRACK LIST

1. Say a Prayer for Me Tonight (from Gigi)

2. I Could Have Danced All Night (from My Fair Lady)

3. Just You Wait (from My Fair Lady)

4. I Talk to the Trees (from Paint Your Wagon)

5. If Ever I Would Leave You (from Camelot)

6. Thank Heaven for Little Girls (from Gigi)

7. The Heather on the Hill (from Brigadoon)

8. Wand’rin’ Star (from Paint Your Wagon)

9. They Call the Wind Maria (from Paint Your Wagon)

10. The Rain in Spain (from My Fair Lady)

11. Brigadoon (from Brigadoon)



AVAILABLE ONLINE AND IN STORES

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11

www.arborsrecords.com

distributed by MVD

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