Released to the media in conjunction with Lea DeLaria's album Play It Cool, this edition of Warner Bros. Records' Words + Music promotional disc series contains an interview with DeLaria interspersed with selections from the album, including "I've Got Your Number," "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "Cool," "With Every Breath I Take," and "All That Jazz." DeLaria provides an selected autobiography appropriate to the album's jazz singing style, noting, for example, that her father was a jazz pianist. Her background as a standup comedian who became a Broadway musical performer is discussed, but nothing at all is said about her lesbianism, a major factor in her previous recordings of her standup comedy act. Humor, in fact, is downplayed, though DeLaria does tell one musical joke and some of her comments may have been intended to be tongue-in-cheek. ("The most formal training I had was the nuns at Catholic school," she says in discussing her musical background.) It seems that she was seen performing her jazzy version of "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" by a Warner executive who signed her up. Obviously, those who have followed the other aspects of her career will have to be ready for something different from Play It Cool.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Davin Seay