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Richard Sudhalter, Barbara Lea; Bob Dorough; Jim Ferguson: Stardust Melodies: The Rare and Beloved Songs of Hoagy Carmichael

C. Michael Bailey By

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Richard Sudhalter, Barbara Lea; Bob Dorough; Jim Ferguson: Stardust Melodies: The Rare and Beloved Songs of Hoagy Carmichael

Title: Stardust Melodies: The Rare and Beloved Songs of Hoagy Carmichael

Year: 2002

Artist Name: Richard Sudhalter, Barbara Lea; Bob Dorough; Jim Ferguson

Record Label: Challenge Records 73231

Genre: Vocal

Hoagy Carmichael in all of his 1920s glory...

 

A brief illustration on the importance of Hoagy Carmichael:

A number of years ago, I was visiting my mother in a local nursing home. She, like the majority patients, suffered from Alzheimer's Disease, a progressive condition that tragically induces a profound memory deficit. My visit was on July 4th. There was a program for the patients that included singers who sang common songs that the depleted minds listening could recognize. The singers had sing-a-longs. "Yankee Doodle" would summon about half of the patients, The National Anthem, a quarter. "America, The Beautiful" had a good turn out of participation.

However, it was not until the performers began "Stardust," that everyone in the room was singing (all of the words, to boot).

"Stardust." Composed by lawyer turned jazzman, Hoagy Carmichael in 1929 has been covered by everyone from Django Reinhardt and Art Pepper to Willie Nelson and Aaron Neville. Carmichael is closer to Irving Berlin than any other artist. Both men's music has not only become part of the American subconscious but the American unconscious, inhabiting the primal spaces of the limbic system with receptors that pop when they hear strains of "The Nearness of You" or "White Christmas."

Stardust Melodies: The Rare and Beloved Songs of Hoagy Carmichael is a righteously conceived and executed tribute to the great composer, employing three fine vocal interpreters in Barbara Lea, Arkansan Bob Dorough, and Jim Ferguson. Brass master Dick Sudhalter adds his own special brand of elegance to the recording. The over all tone of the songs is 1930s honky tonk. These songs have a very appealing rustic flavor to them, not the over stylized and engineered patina one would expect. One might consider these as historically informed performances as the music as Carmichael may have heard it on those boozy nights with Bix and Mezz.


Track Listing: New Orleans; Medley: Georgia on My Mind/Can't Get Indiana off My Mind; Bread and Gravy; My Resistance Is Low; April in My Heart; Moonburn; Stardust; Little old Lady; Big Town Blues; What Kind o' Man Is You; Snowball; The Rhumba Jumps; The Lamplighter's Serenade; The Nearness of You; Manhattan Rag; Ev'ntide.

Personnel: Barbara Lea - Vocals; Bob Dorough - Piano/Vocals; Jim Ferguson - Bass/Vocals; Dick Sudhalter - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Dan Levinson - Clarinet/C-Melody & Tenor Sax; Tom Artin - Trombone; Ben Aronov - Piano; Howard Alden - Guitar; Joe Cocuzzo - Drums; Sy Johnson, Keith Nichols - Arrangements

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Challenge Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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