Sunday, April 28, 2013

Change of Heart Michael Feinstein The Songs of Andre Previn Telarc 2013


Most critics will tell you their favorite releases are the reviews that literally write themselves. Michael Feinstein and music icon Andre Previn have teamed up for the release Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn. There is so much sophistication and style packed into this particular release it borders on ridiculous. The pairing of Feinstein and Previn is an act of pure musical genius and continues the tradition that only the finest releases will bear the Telarc label.

Previn, whose career runs across seven decades while running the sonic spectrum from classical to jazz and from opera to film scoring and musical theatre can boast four Oscars and 11 Grammy Awards. What makes this recording so special is that the compositions chosen are rather deep in the Previn discography and for the uninitiated that may not be as well versed in film scores or theatre, these songs sound as fresh today as they did when "The Easy Way" was first released for the 1968 screen adaptation of Valley of the Dolls. The calling card for Previn is his innate talent for combining simplicity with complexity or as I often say, "deceptively subtle." 

While Michael Feinstein has the distinction of being the first male vocalist Previn has ever partnered with the contributions from David Finck on bass are the subtle nuances that bind these slightly eclectic paring into something truly special. Feinstein has never sounded better on the opening track "You've Had A Change of Heart" and "Yes" which was first recorded with Doris Day. "Little Lost Dream" is pulled from Johnny Mercer's final stage show and Feinstein delivers impeccable phrasing and that special ability to become a story teller and make that rare transition from singer to vocal artist. 

Andre Previn is 83 years young and one can not help but sense a feeling of the torch being passed. Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn is a pristine recording that chronicles some incredibly important music and the genius of both Previn and Feinstein. The preeminent vocalist of our time with perhaps the greatest living composer of our day is a match made in heaven.

You never review genius. You honor it. 

Tracks: (You've Had ) A Change of Heart; The Easy Way; Empty is My Room; Yes; Give A Little More; It's Good To Have You Near Again; Just For Now; Little Lost Dream; Medley: A Second Chance / Why Are We Afraid; Quiet Music; You're Gonna Hear From Me; Goodbye.