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CD/LP/Track Review

Various: Signature Songs (2002)

By Published: January 17, 2003
Various: Signature Songs Apparently caught up in the millennial rush to get the most out of their catalogs (and apparently a little late in doing so), Telarc has assembled a short set of "signature songs" – songs for which their performers were (apparently) best known. From Cab Calloway’s "Minnie the Moocher" to Dave Brubeck’s "Take 5," these are some of their past performers’ most memorable musical meanderings. And while not every version may be the quintessential (who can forget Cab’s performance in "The Blues Brothers" or earlier takes where his scat was sharper?) or even necessarily related to the given artist (Liza Minelli did "New York, New York"?), the collection of artists and songs is significant at least.

Among the truly unique offerings are some star-studded live shots of Clark Terry’s ingeniously impeded "Mumbles" and Lionel Hampton’s moaning and moving "Flyin’ Home." In the end, it is hard to say which is the greater disappointment—that the album is not filled with the most signature versions of some of these songs or that it is so short.

Track Listing: 1. Lullaby of Birdland - George Shearing 2. Minnie the Moocher [#] - Cab Calloway 3. Take Five - Dave Brubeck 4. Con Alma [Live] - Dizzy Gillespie 5. Poinciana [#] - Ahmad Jamal 6. Mumbles - Clark Terry 7. Misty - Erroll Garner 8. Flyin' Home [Live] - Lionel Hampton 9. New York, New York [Live] - Liza Minnelli

Personnel: Dave Brubeck - piano Cab Calloway -- vocals Erroll Garner - piano Dizzy Gillespie - trumpet Lionel Hampton - vibes Ahmad Jamal - piano Liza Minnelli - vocals George Shearing - piano Clark Terry -- vocal, flugelhorn

Record Label: Telarc Records

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream

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