The M.G.M. Album

The M.G.M. Album

by Michael Feinstein

Compact Disc


Interpretive singers, particularly contemporary nightclub entertainers, tend to design one-hour sets (later recycled as albums) around particular concepts or themes, and as the years go by, coming up with new ones can be challenging. So says Michael Feinstein in his annotations to his sixth LP, The M.G.M. Album. The concept he's come up with this time is embodied in the title, but even that is a little broad -- songs used in M-G-M movies. So, he narrowed it, eliminating songs not specifically written for those movies (such as Broadway show tunes used in a movie adaptation) and songs written by songwriters better known for their work in New York than in Hollywood, meaning no Jerome Kern or Rodgers & Hart. He was still left with quite a list, songs by the likes of Sammy Cahn, Sammy Fain, Johnny Mercer, and Harry Warren, among others. (Also included are works by Harold Arlen, Howard Dietz, E.Y. Harburg, Arthur Schwartz, and Jule Styne, all of whom, one might argue, are really more Broadway guys than movie guys.) The choices range from the well known ("That's Entertainment!," "Time After Time," "Singin' in the Rain") to the more obscure, and typically Feinstein finds ways to make even the more familiar material different, especially by using the introductory verses that sometimes turned up only in the sheet music for the songs, not up on the screen. (He also induced Cahn to come up with a whole new lyric to "Wonder Why.") The best example of a song full of passages most people won't have heard is the lengthy rendition of "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz, which has explanatory sections for the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion before they get around to wishing they had a brain, a heart, and courage. None of these extra words were heard in the movie, and no one seems to have sung them since, until now. Feinstein employs arranger/conductor Ian Bernard, who uses good-sized orchestras that suggest what came off of the Hollywood soundstages. As usual, Feinstein sings in his earnest tenor, which has gained range and expression as an instrument over his recording career, and he savors the words with a scholar's affection. He serves the material, sometimes reverently, although it is still true that the least impressive thing about a Michael Feinstein album tends to be Michael Feinstein himself.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/1989
Label: Elektra / Wea
UPC: 0075596089326
catalogNumber: 60893

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Feinstein   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ray Kelley   Cello
Alan Broadbent   Piano
Bob Cooper   Woodwind
Herbie Harper   Trombone
Pete Jolly   Piano
Ronnie Lang   Woodwind
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Marilyn Baker   Viola
Arnold Belnick   Violin
Chuck Berghofer   Bass,Bass Guitar
Samuel Boghossian   Viola
Mari Tsumura   Violin
Larry Bunker   Percussion
Kenneth Burward-Hoy   Viola
Gary Coleman   Percussion
Larry Corbett   Cello
Harry Cykman   Violin
Isabelle Daskoff   Violin
Assa Drori   Violin
Henry Ferber   Violin
Bob Findley   Trumpet
Chuck Findley   Trumpet
Pamela Goldsmith   Viola
John Guerin   Drums
Peter Hatch   Viola
Dennis Karmazyn   Cello
Peter Kent   Violin
Bill Lane   French Horn
Brian Leonard   Violin
Ron Leonard   Cello
John Lowe   Woodwind
Margot MacLaine   Viola
Gordon Marron Strings   Violin
Timothy May   Guitar
Joe Meyer   French Horn
Don Palmer   Violin
Debra Price   Violin
Haim Shtrum   Violin
Donald Smith   Trumpet
Marshall Sosson   Violin
Sheridon Stokes   Woodwind
Robert Sushel   Violin
Gerald Vinci   Violin,Concert Master
Chauncey Welsch   Trombone
Shari Zippert   Violin
Gayle Levant   Harp
Ray Kelly   Cello
Bob Shepherd   Woodwind
Phil Sobel   Woodwind
Ian Bernard   Conductor
Robert Cooper   Woodwind
Ken Burwood-Hoy   Viola
Alan de Yeritch   Viola
Mari Tsumura-Botnick   Violin
David Duke   French Horn
Donald Waldrop   Trombone
Brian O'Connor   French Horn

Technical Credits

Michael Feinstein   Producer,Liner Notes
Larry Wilcox   Arranger
Hank Cicalo   Engineer
Gary Klein   Executive Producer
Charles Koppelman   Executive Producer
Ian Bernard   Arranger,Producer
Carol Bobolts   Art Direction
Dennis Ziemienski   Artwork,Illustrations

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