Svetlana Shmulyian: Night at the Movies

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"

Svetlana Shmulyian: Night at the Movies
Svetlana Shmulyian is a gift that keeps on giving. The Russian-American emigre made her recording debut with Night at the Speakeasy (AO2 Records, 2016), where she infused the Great American Songbook's early canon with an Eastern essence of determination and intelligence. The singer followed that with her survey of film music Night at the Movies (Starr Records, 2020).

Then the pandemic emerged, changing everything in the musical performance landscape. Shmulyian responded by surprising listeners with an outtake from Night at the Movies, Lana Del Ray's"Young and Beautiful" from The Great Gatsby (Warner Bros., 2013). Her treatment was a grand Janus, looking forward and backward, at the same time. She surprises us again with yet another outtake from Night at the Movies, the George and Ira Gershwin chestnut, "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" from the 1937 film Shall We Dance (RKO Radio Pictures), performed in duet with Australian singer and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Cunningham and featuring trombonist Wycliffe Gordon.

"Let's Call The Whole Thing Off" is a perfect vehicle for the two singers to show off their sassy skills. They share a rapport that deepens the song's built in contradictions and confluences. Their singing is warm, teasing and lively. Gordon's trombone solo frames the melodic spirit of the recording, updating it without making it sound new. So pleasant an experience to hear, one hopes there is a pocketful of these "outtakes" to continue to share. Отлично сработано!

Track Listing

Moonlight; Sooner or Later; Cheek to Cheek; Pure Imagination; Moon River; Happy; When You Wish Upon a Star; Watch What Happens; Remember Me; No One’s Home; Smile; It Might Be You; Almost There; Over the Rainbow.


Svetlana Shmulyian: voice / vocals; John Chin: piano; Elias Bailey: bass; Matt Wilson: drums; Rogerio Boccato: percussion.

Album information

Title: Night at the Movies | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Starr Records

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