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Release Round-Up: Week of February 26

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Cat MotherFanny, Fanny / Freddie King, The Complete King Federal Singles (2-CD Set) / Rod McKuen, Sold Out at Carnegie Hall (2-CD Deluxe Edition) / Rod McKuen, Listen to the Warm (Deluxe Edition) / Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys, The Street Giveth…and the Street Taketh Away / The Hello People, Fusion / The Grateful Dead, Dick’s Picks 25 – May 10, 1978 New Haven, CT / May 11, 1978 Springfield, MA (4-CD Set) (Real Gone Music)

Much to enjoy from Real Gone today: four discs of live Dead, deluxe editions from beloved songwriter/poet Rod McKuen, Freddie King’s A’s and B’s for King and Federal and Cat Mother and The All Night Newsboys’ The Street Giveth…, produced by Jimi Hendrix.

All That Jazz 2CDBreathe, All That Jazz: Deluxe Edition (Cherry Pop)

The underrated, dreamy debut album that spawned some major international hits in “Hands to Heaven” and “How Can I Fall” is expanded by Cherry Pop as a two-disc set with many B-sides and remixes. Check back later this week for a special interview with Vinny Vero, the veteran compilation producer/remixer who produced this reissue! (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.)

Kirsty DeluxeKirsty MacColl, A New England: The Very Best of Kirsty MacColl (Salvo)

A brand-new Kirsty MacColl compilation (Amazon U.K. / Amazon U.S.), featuring many of her non-LP singles. An Amazon U.K. edition features exclusive art cards and a DVD of music videos along with the standard package.

Mann Weil AceVarious Artists, Born to Be Together: The Songs of Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil (Ace)

From Ace comes a nice tribute to one of the best songwriting duos of the century. Features hits like “We Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “On Broadway” and “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.” (Amazon U.K.Amazon U.S.)

Chita Rivera Two-FerChita Rivera, Chita! / And Now I Sing! (Stage Door)

However you can try to explain why the living stage legend’s two ’60s solo LPs are only now coming out on CD as a two-for-one package, they’re here for your enjoyment! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

And Now She Sings! Chita Rivera Solo Albums Coming to CD from Stage Door

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Chita Rivera Two-FerChita Rivera was the toast of the musical stage in 1961, reprising her New York triumph in Bye Bye Birdie in London’s West End.  Over fifty years later, the resplendent Ms. Rivera is still the toast of the musical stage, wowing audiences nightly as the decadent Princess Puffer in the Broadway revival of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.  Yet the triple-threat dancer/actress/singer who originated roles in musicals including West Side Story and Chicago has made all too few trips to the recording studio outside of preserving her stage roles on original cast recordings.  And anyone who knows any of those cast albums knows that Rivera is as compelling a vocal stylist as she is an onstage presence.  In 2009, Rivera released her third and most recent solo album on the Yellow Sound label, but thanks to Stage Door Records, listeners can now revisit her first two such solo recordings.  On February 25, 2013, the label will unveil the CD premieres of 1962’s Chita! and 1963’s And Now I Sing! on one disc.  (Rivera tipped her hat to the 1963 album when titling her jazzy 2009 effort And Now I Swing!).

Rivera was starring as Rose opposite the Albert of future Hollywood Squares host Peter Marshall in the London production of Bye Bye Birdie when she entered the Philips label’s U.K. studio with arranger Alyn Ainsworth for her first-ever solo album, Chita!.  The respected bandleader oversaw a 12-track collection primarily of theatre and film songs, many of which predated Rivera’s own original-cast Broadway debut in the 1955 musical Seventh Heaven.  (Rivera, billed as Conchita del Rivero, had been a replacement in the ensemble of Can-Can prior to Seventh Heaven.)  These songs included Rodgers and Hart’s “Ten Cents a Dance” from Simple Simon (1930), Burton Lane and E.Y. Harburg’s “Old Devil Moon” from Finian’s Rainbow (1947) and Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Small Fry” from the movie Sing You Sinners (1938).  Loesser and Lane were also represented with “The Lady’s in Love with You,” their 1939 standard.  Of a more recent vintage were “Love, Look Away” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song (1959) and the rollicking “Get Me to the Church on Time” from Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady (1956), plus Bart Howard’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” first recorded in 1954 by Kaye Ballard as “In Other Words.”  By the time Rivera got around to the song, it had already been recorded by a “Who’s Who” including Eydie Gorme, Peggy Lee, Nat “King” Cole, and Johnny Mathis.  (The famous Frank Sinatra/Quincy Jones rendition followed in 1964.)  And though it’s hard to picture Rivera starring in Oklahoma!, the album features her take on “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top.”

A similar approach to the repertoire was taken for follow-up album And Now I Sing!.  This time, Rivera recorded the LP on her home turf in New York under the baton of musical director Joe Cain for the Latin music label Seeco.  (A truly diverse label, Seeco’s catalogue included Cy Coleman and Eartha Kitt alongside Celia Cruz and Perez Prado.)  An accomplished trumpeter and Latin music legend who worked with artists such as Tito Puente, Seeco’s in-house arranger and A&R man Cain guided Rivera through new arrangements of songs ranging from Rodgers and Hart once more (“Isn’t It Romantic”) to Mancini and Mercer (the Academy Award-winning “Moon River”).  Rivera even put her own stamp on “Falling in Love Again,” Marlene Dietrich’s signature song.    She returned to Loesser and Lane’s songbook for their “I Hear Music,” and revisited Hoagy Carmichael’s catalogue for “The Nearness of You,” with lyrics by Ned Washington (“When You Wish Upon a Star”).

There’s more after the jump including a pre-order link and full track listing with discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 21, 2012 at 10:29

Posted in Chita Rivera, News, Reissues