Close as Pages in a Book

Close as Pages in a Book

by Barbara Cook


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On her seventh solo album, former Broadway star Barbara Cook finally found a home on her fifth label, show-music-friendly DRG Records. MCA Classics had released her celebrated previous LP, 1988's Disney Album, but that proved to be a one-off project. DRG and producer Hugh Fordin, however, knew what to do with Cook, which was, essentially, to let her do what she did best, sing show music. Close as Pages in a Book was a songbook tribute to lyricist Dorothy Fields, a songwriter not much previously recognized, both because she wrote only words, not music (the composers always get more attention), and because she was a girl in what was very much a boys' club. But Fields had an extensive career writing for stage and screen, and Cook's selection of 13 songs gives a sense of breadth. The singer's strengths lean toward the expression of sincere romantic feeling, and she wisely looks for Fields lyrics that support that tone. Songs like the title tune, "Make the Man Love Me," and "The Way You Look Tonight" (a duet with Tommy Tune) are right up her street, and she also gets a lot out of more buoyant material such as "I Can't Give You Anything but Love," "I'm in the Mood for Love," and even "Bojangles of Harlem." On the other hand, she eschews Fields lyrics not suited to her, such as the "sarcastic love song" (as it was subtitled originally) "A Fine Romance," and the arch "Big Spender." Those may be among Fields' best-known songs, but Cook is more comfortable with more open-hearted sentiments. Particularly welcome are her discoveries of more obscure Fields songs such as "April Snow" and "April Fooled Me." Arrangers Peter Matz, Michael Gibson, and Wally Harper (who also conducted) provide Cook with sympathetic arrangements that sometimes hark back to the 1920s style of Fields' earliest material with composer Jimmy McHugh. The album is a celebration both of the most accomplished female show tune lyricist of the 20th century, and one of the strongest show tune interpreters of the century's second half.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/22/1993
Label: Drg
UPC: 0021471141245
catalogNumber: 91412

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barbara Cook   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jay Berliner   Banjo,Guitar
David Nadien   Violin,Concert Master
Lamar Alsop   Violin
John Beal   Bass
John Campo   Clarinet,Bassoon,Bass Clarinet,Saxophone
Glenn Drewes   Trumpet
Harvey Estrin   Clarinet,Flute,Piccolo,Saxophone
Lawrence Feldman   Clarinet,Saxophone
John Frosk   Trumpet
David Gale   Trombone,Trumpet
Jack Gale   Trombone
Nikki Harris   Tape
Susan Jolles   Harp
Larry Lunetta   Trumpet
Charles McCracken   Cello
Sharon Moe   French Horn
Seymour Red Press   Clarinet,Flute,Saxophone
Pat Rebillot   Piano
John Redsecker   Drums
Jim Saporito   Percussion
Robert Steen   Clarinet,Flute,Oboe,Saxophone
Andy Stein   Violin
Emanuel Vardi   Viola
David Barjeron   Trombone
Michael Kosarin   Piano
Wally Harper   Piano,Conductor
Peter Gordon   French Horn

Technical Credits

Peter Matz   Arranger
Hugh Fordin   Producer
Cynthia Daniels   Engineer
Jeff Faville   Art Direction
Wally Harper   Arranger
Michael Gibson   Arranger

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