Jack Lemmon

A Twist of Lemmon

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Twist of Lemmon is Jack Lemmon's debut album and was released in 1959. Lemmon developed a love for music around the same time he began acting, but his success in the latter forced the future Oscar winner to abandon his career as a professional musician. In the 1950s, after a string of Broadway musical hits, Jack Lemmon was invited to record a full-length album. The resulting Twist of Lemmon was initially going to be an album of piano songs, but as production began, Lemmon and producer Jack Sherman decided to record six instrumentals and six vocal tracks. Lemmon chose songs for the record while on the set of It Should Happen to You with Judy Holiday. Eventually the actor ended up choosing only four instrumentals to go with eight vocal songs. The resulting LP is a much more commercial product than was first imagined. Though Lemmon's voice is solid, his piano playing was his strength. The 12 standards on Twist of Lemmon include Yip Harburg's "What Is There to Say," the Gershwins' "Bidin' My Time," Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," and Harold Arlen's "Let's Fall in Love." Of note are "With All My Love" which is a Lemmon original and "Lemmon Flavored Blues" written by arranger Marlon Evans. Twist of Lemmon is a musically solid and serious album, but it is more important as a window into the creativity of one of Hollywood's greats. The Collector's Choice Music release of the Twist of Lemmon/Some Like It Hot CD is a good pick up because it includes all the tracks on the original LP. However, collectors may want the original vinyl for its fun cover of Lemmon in a yellow cardigan posing with a colorful bowl of lemons on his piano.

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