440

Fumio Yasuda and Theo Bleckmann: Fumio Yasuda and Theo Bleckmann: Las Vegas Rhapsody: The Night They Invented Champagne

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
This whimsical sound trip to the heyday of Las Vegas celebrates the city's one hundredth anniversary. German-born and New York-based singer Theo Bleckmann and Japanese pianist/arranger/composer Fumio Yasuda unite with Bernd Ruf and the Kammerorchester Basel to transform carefully chosen selections from the American Songbook into a soundtrack for celebrating the rich decadence and unbridled hedonism of the "new Gomorrah" in all her splendor. These three musical forces come together at an aural tipple point that almost defies description as it is a project much bigger than a collection of old songs.

Theo Bleckmann is best described as a "performance stylist" after ten years in the busy New York nightlife. Boasting a remarkable personage, elegant magnetism and a three-and-a-half octave vocal range, Bleckmann brings to Las Vegas Rhapsody all of prewar Berlin's over-the-top creativity and delicious intemperance. He does this against the sumptuous backdrop of Fumio Yasuda's lushly elegant orchestrations. Fumio Yasuda was born in 1953 in Tokyo. He began composing at age seventeen and graduated from Kunitachi College of Music as a Composition major.

For Rhapsody Yasuda arranges the music for both full orchestra with strings and small ensemble. The disc is book-ended by Bleckmann and Yasuda's "Las Vegas Rhapsody," decked out in black-tie musical regalia. The Rhapsody shares the large ensemble format with brightly-lit interpretations of "The Night They Invented Champagne" and "A Gal in Calico" and velvety thoughts of the vocal-ensemble "Teacher's Pet" and "True Love."

Smaller confines are used for "You Make Me Feel So Young" (voice and piano) and a shoot-the-moon "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," reducing to a single instrument, the marimbaphone, for the bubbly "You Go to My Head." Bleckmann's vibratoless voice floats above the percussive steps like, wellâ


Track Listing: Las Vegas Rhapsody, Prologue; Out Of My Dreams; The Night They Invented Champagne; Teacher's Pet; True Love; You Make Me Feel So Young; Chim Chim Cheree; A Gal In Calico; You Go To My Head; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; We Kiss In A Shadow; Button Up Your Overcoat; I've Got A Gal In Kalamazoo; Luck Be A Lady; My Favorite Things; Las Vegas Rhapsody, Epilogue.

Personnel: Theo Bleckmann: vocals; Fumio Yasuda: orchestration, piano; Kammerorchester Basel, Bernd Ruf: conductor.

Title: Fumio Yasuda and Theo Bleckmann: Las Vegas Rhapsody: The Night They Invented Champagne | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Winter & Winter


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Blue Light" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Light
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Introducing...Rubén González" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing...Rubén González
by James Nadal
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "The Time Verses" CD/LP/Track Review The Time Verses
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 1, 2017
Read "The Colours Suite" CD/LP/Track Review The Colours Suite
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 29, 2017

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.