Tuesday, April 5, 2016

USA: Celia Berk-Manhattan Serenade (2016)

Celia Berk | Manhattan Serenade 

MANHATTAN SERENADE is Celia Berk's highly anticipated follow up to her critically acclaimed debut album YOU CAN'T RUSH SPRING.

Lyricist David Zippel (“City of Angels,” “Hercules”), whose "The Broadway Song" written with Cy Coleman receives its first commercial recording, writes in the album’s Liner Notes:

“A tribute to her hometown, this collection is anything but renditions of the obvious New York songs. MANHATTAN SERENADE is curated: a connoisseur’s compilation of one exquisite, undiscovered musical gem after another. Celia Berk and her arranger/conductor, the esteemed Alex Rybeck, consider themselves to be “musical truffle hounds,” and they have indeed rooted through the Great American Songbook to uncover superb, overlooked songs by the crème de la crème of composers and lyricists: Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart, Kurt Weill, Langston Hughes, Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn, Burt Bacharach, Rupert Holmes and Cy Coleman.

There are so many reasons to love this album—the lush arrangements, the extravagant orchestrations and, of course, Celia Berk’s knowing vocals sung with charm, warmth and wit. She chooses great songs, has superb arrangements and then trusts her material. Her interpretations are honest, unadorned, and imbued with intelligence, sensitivity and an intuitive understanding of what she is singing about."

Other highlights include "A Day Away From Town", a recently discovered song by legendary songwriting team Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn, completed by musical director Hubert “Tex” Arnold. Michael Feinstein has said, “There is nothing more special than finding a new song that’s classic and fresh at the same time, and "A Day Away From Town" is just that."

Vince Giordano and The Nighthawks are featured on another rarity, Irving Berlin’s "Manhattan Madness". A little-known Kurt Weill & Sam Coslow song, "The Romance Of A Lifetime", is teamed with Rupert Holmes’ "The People That You Never Get To Love". Also included is "Seconds", a Burt Bacharach/Neil Simon song written for an unproduced movie version of “Promises, Promises.”

Co-Produced by Tony Award-winning sound designer Scott Lehrer and arranger/conductor Alex Rybeck.

Extended Liner Notes at GramercyNightingale.com