Isn't It Romantic

Isn't It Romantic

by Michael Feinstein



Michael Feinstein teams up with Hollywood arranger Johnny Mandel for his fourth album, which, as its title suggests, is devoted to romantic songs. Typically, an LP's worth of Feinstein performances isn't only a stroll down the Memory Lane of show tunes from movies and musicals of the interwar era, but also a musical research project into the archives where the singer toiled back in the days when he was an archivist for Ira Gershwin and Harry Warren. So, for example, when he leads off with the title song, written by Rodgers & Hart for the film Love Me Tonight, he doesn't only sing the lyrics everybody knows from its countless covers, he also throws in the lyrics from the second chorus, unheard since 1932, which come off as decidedly chauvinistic in 1988. Similarly, in rendering Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields' "A Fine Romance" (from the 1936 film Swingtime), he sings a verse that was never used or published, but that was sung by the film's star, Fred Astaire, only on a recording that was never released. Such arcane additions to the material will interest especially those as fascinated by pop music history as Feinstein; to casual listeners, they may come as a surprise, altering impressions of songs otherwise so familiar. But Feinstein does not restrict himself to older material. He also introduces a new song, "Where Do You Start," composed by Mandel with lyrics by Marilyn & Alan Bergman, that, like so many songs of the '70s and '80s written in the style of pre-rock pop, sounds like it might as well have been penned just outside divorce court by a regretful ex-spouse. That's right, this album may consist of romantic songs, but they aren't always happy love songs. Just as often, they're unhappy ones, notably a medley of Jerry Herman's "I Won't Send Roses" (another chauvinist's statement) and the heartbreaking "Time Heals Everything" from the 1974 musical Mack and Mabel (included as a bonus track on CD copies of the album). Feinstein's vulnerable tenor and often reverent performance style is actually better suited to the bittersweet stuff, especially when accompanied by Mandel's haunting and sentimental arrangements.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Elektra / Wea
UPC: 0075596079228
catalogNumber: 60792

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Michael Feinstein   Primary Artist,Vocals
Ray Kelley   Cello
Alan Broadbent   Synthesizer,Piano
Ray Pizzi   Reeds
Stu Goldberg   Synthesizer
Bruce Dukov   Violin
Marilyn Baker   Viola
Richard Todd   French Horn
Arnold Belnick   Violin
Mari Tsumura   Violin
Dennis Budimir   Guitar
Larry Bunker   Percussion
Jodi Burnett   Cello
Kenneth Burward-Hoy   Viola
Gene Cipriano   Reeds
John Clayton   Bass,Bass Guitar
Isabelle Daskoff   Violin
Earl Dumler   Reeds
Assa Drori   Violin
Henry Ferber   Violin
Frederick Seykora   Cello
Pamela Goldsmith   Viola
Joseph Goodman   Violin
Sol Gubin   Drums
Reginald Hill   Violin
Marni Johnson   French Horn
Anne Karam   Cello
Eddie Karam   Conductor
Peter Kent   Violin
Randy Kerber   Piano
John Lowe   Reeds
Gordon Marron Strings   Violin
Timothy May   Guitar
Jack Nimitz   Reeds
Jeff Porcaro   Percussion
Sheldon Sanov   Violin
Haim Shtrum   Violin
Neil Stubenhaus   Bass,Bass Guitar
Gerald Vinci   Violin
Brad Warnaar   French Horn
James Walker   Reeds
Hershel Wise   Viola
Shari Zippert   Violin
Gayle Levant   Harp
Reg Hill   Violin
Steven Schaeffer   Drums
Michael Nowak   Viola
Ralph Morrison   Violin
Louise di Tullio   Reeds
Alan de Veritch   Viola
Calvin Smith   French Horn

Technical Credits

Michael Feinstein   Liner Notes
Hank Cicalo   Engineer
Johnny Mandel   Arranger,Producer
Henrietta Condak   Art Direction

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Isn't It Romantic 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's rare that you find a CD wherein all songs are worth listening to over and over again. I find the arrangement very intimate - nothing loud, nothing flashy, just pure Michael Feinstein and the listener.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This music is not Broadway. It's the kind of music that makes you stop what you're doing and listen (and maybe even sing). They're songs that you should know the words to. Sing them to your sweetheart. Sing them in the car. I adore this cd. It's the first cd that my lyrically-challenged husband ever sang along to. Now that's romantic.