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FILM REVIEWS

An Evening With Scott Hamilton & Friends

Read "An Evening With Scott Hamilton & Friends" reviewed by Jim Santella

Scott Hamilton & Michael Feinstein Concord 2004

Two classy entertainers turn this television special and extended DVD into a musical moment that captures your full attention throughout. Michael Feinstein’s grand piano has been placed right next to the skating rink down front. With a small jazz ensemble, he sings from the American Popular Songbook, as a cast of professional skaters accompanies with lots of graceful visual action. He and skater Scott Hamilton host the ...

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Michael Feinstein: Big City Rhythms

Read "Big City Rhythms" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Having created some of the best and most enduring musical catalogs of Great American Songbook composers and some of the best cabaret sets ever heard, Michael Feinstein breaks new ground with his first Big Band album. Growing up in the personal attendance of the legendary Ira Gershwin and in the comforting shadow of such standard bearers as Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and Irving Berlin, Feinstein has partnered his smokey vocals with the fiery horns of the legendary Maynard Fergusion for ...

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Michael Feinstein: Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin

Read "Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Predominantly composed with the warm and familiar intimacy of his famed cabaret sets, Michael Feinstein’s latest release panders a bit to the popular and loses some credibility in the process. A noted expert on the life, times and music of Mr. Gershwin who has performed this material many times before, Feinstein fittingly joins the throngs paying tribute to the centenarian songwriter with this set of fifteen selections, including one on which George himself provides the instrumentation (by way of one ...

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Michael Feinstein: Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

Read "Michael Feinstein with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra" reviewed by AAJ Staff

When a top but often undersung crooner pairs up with a similarly situated symphony, the results can often be much more than fantastic. The mellow moods of tunes like “Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out to Dry" and “On a Clear Day" may not allow the power of either to be fully recognized, but the emotional coloring is rich and beautiful. And when Feinstein and Conductor Alan Broadbent give the signal to add some sturm und drang to “Stormy Weather" ...

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Michael Feinstein: Michael and George

Read "Michael and George" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Predominately composed with the warm and familiar intimacy of his famed cabaret sets, Michael Feinstein’s latest release panders a bit to the popular and loses some credibility in the process. A noted expert on the life, times and music of Mr. Gershwin who has performed this material many times before, Feinstein fittingly joins the throngs paying tribute to the centenarian songwriter with this set of fifteen selections, including one on which George himself provides the instrumentation (by way of one ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Feinstein: Big City Rhythms

Read "Big City Rhythms" reviewed by Matthew S. Robinson

Having created some of the best and most enduring musical catalogs of the composers of the Great American Songbook and some of the best cabaret sets ever heard, Michael Feinstein is breaking new ground with his first Big Band album. Growing up in the personal attendance of the legendary Ira Gershwin and in the comforting shadow of such standard bearers as Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer and Irving Berlin, Feinstein has partnered his smokey vocals with the fiery horns of the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Feinstein: Romance On Film, Romance On Broadway

Read "Romance On Film, Romance On Broadway" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Released just in time for the 2000 holiday season (and I did see this CD filling end-cap displays at Barnes & Noble), the new Michael Feinstein two-CD package broadens his appeal beyond Broadway tunes that he does so famously. Instead, he has chosen romantic tunes written for film and stage as the glue holding together all of the tunes thematically.As one would expect, almost all of the tunes were written by the classic songwriters of earlier generations, going ...

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Michael Feinstein: Romance on Film, Romance on Broadway

Read "Romance on Film, Romance on Broadway" reviewed by Dave Nathan

This is a double CD which comes from live sessions by Michael Feinstein at New York's Regency Hotel in April of 2000. The remaining tracks are studio sessions. All of it, as the album title advertises, is Feinstein's interpretations of standards from the Great American Songbook that were introduced or at least given notoriety on a Broadway stage or in a Hollywood film. It never ceases to amaze me how much Feinstein sounds like Johnny Mathis, communicating that intense, emotional ...

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Michael Feinstein w/ Maynard Ferguson: Big City Rhythms

Read "Big City Rhythms" reviewed by Dave Hughes

Up to this point, Michael Feinstein has focused his talents on Broadway and Tin Pan Alley tunes. This is his first foray into big band swing, and it's a rewarding and satisfying effort.  Feinstein exhibits expressiveness, precision, and an excellent command of dynamics.  Maynard Ferguson is primarily in a supporting role here, fronting a full big band comprised of his current Big Bop Nouveau personnel, some alumni, and some L.A. big band pros. He does get a few solo spots, ...

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Michael Feinstein with the Maynard Ferguson Big Band: Big City Rhythms

Read "Big City Rhythms" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Big City Rhythms represents something of a departure for singer / composer / arranger Michael Feinstein. Instead of centering his performance on the works of a single popular composer, as he usually does, Feinstein takes a large bite out of the Great American Songbook; and instead of performing with a small group or generic big band, he enlists the services of trumpeter Maynard Ferguson whose ensemble is hardly an unknown quantity. The upshot is a marvelous album that offers the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Feinstein: Big City Rhythms

Read "Big City Rhythms" reviewed by Jim Santella

What do Michael Feinstein and Maynard Ferguson have in common? They’re both prolific (Feinstein has 18 albums now). Both have an appreciation for popular songs and both employ distinctive sounds. Feinstein’s vocal quality is smooth, shallow and friendly, while Ferguson’s thin, high-pitched trumpet acrobatics are legendary. Neither artist makes full use of music overtones, preferring instead to do without a full, rich, resonant tone. Both have the initials M.F. But that’s where the similarities end.

Feinstein’s strength lies in his ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Feinstein: Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin

Read "Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin" reviewed by Jack Bowers

By now, most people who have some knowledge of popular music (the “standards,” that is, not what passes today for popular), know also that Michael Feinstein is, as the sleeve note to Michael & George asserts, “widely recognized as one of the foremost experts [on] and interpreters of [George] Gershwin’s music. ....” On Michael & George those interpretations are, as always, flawless. Michael knows George well, and knows how to describe his compositions and their lyrics (most of them written ...


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