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The Old Mercer Magic!

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The Old Mercer Magic!

Artist: Jalala

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Label: Dare Records
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Album: The Old Mercer Magic!
# Song Title   Time
1)    Spring, Spring, Spring
2)    You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
3)    Jeepers Creepers
4)    My Shining Hour
5)    Ac-Cent-U-Ate the Positive
6)    Dream
7)    I'm Old Fashioned
8)    Riding on the Moon
9)    Moon River/Moon Country
10)    Have You Got Any Castles Baby?
11)    Too Marvelous for Words
12)    Dance of Life, The

Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Janis Siegel, Laurel Mass‚ (vocals); David Finck (guitar, acoustic bass); Frank Vignola (guitar); Aaron Weinstein (mandolin, violin); Sara Caswell (violin); Margot Leverett (clarinet); Lew Soloff (trumpet); Yaron Gershovsky (piano); Matt Wilson (drums); Rich "Dusty Chopmeat" Zukor (djembe); Eric Elterman (hand claps).
  • Audio Mixer: Fran Cathcart.
  • Recording information: East Side Sound.
  • Arrangers: David Finck; Frank Vignola; Janis Siegel; Laurel Mass‚; Yaron Gershovsky; Aaron Weinstein.
  • Janis Siegel has done a fair amount of recording away from the Manhattan Transfer during her decades-long tenure with the vocal group, but this a rare opportunity to hear her with other vocalists outside of it. JaLaLa, featured on four selections, includes Laurel Mass‚ and Lauren Kinhan on vocals, with each singer leading individual selections.; the core group of musicians includes pianist Yaron Gershovsky, bassist David Finck, guitarist Frank Vignola, and drummer Matt Wilson, with guests added or substituted on some pieces. The songs selected from Johnny Mercer's vast output include both still-popular standards and obscurities, with the supporting cast varying from one track to the next. All three vocalists join forces for a fun-filled romp through "Ac-Cent-U-Ate the Positive" and the neglected "Spring Spring Spring," both of which add pedal steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar. Siegel handles both "Jeepers Creepers" and "Too Marvelous for Words" effortlessly. Kinhan shines in the breezy bossa nova setting of "My Shining Hour," while Mass‚ delivers a warm "Moon River" which is joined in a medley with the less familiar "Moon Country," a sauntering chart that features JaLaLa. Only the lame setting of "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," saddled with the inane antics of DJ Sugarkone and a bland groove, proves disappointing. ~ Ken Dryden

Professional Reviews
Down Beat (p.79) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[With] a nostalgic sense of hip, marrying finger-snapping swing with a champagne cosmopolitanism reminiscent of penthouse-set Hollywood musicals from the 1930s."

JazzTimes (p.63) - "[T]heir 'Dream' suggest the silken purity of the Pied Pipers,' and their sun-splattered 'Spring, Spring, Spring' playfully hints at the McGuire Sisters' brand of sugary pop."

Producer:Janis Siegel
Format:CD (0 Disc); Stereo
Studio/Live: Studio
Release Date:16 June, 2009

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