Frederica Von Stade

Across Your Dreams: Frederica von Stade Sings Brubeck

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Classical diva Frederica von Stade proves herself as one of the most effective singers to cross over into other forms of music with this rather unique CD, which primarily covers music by either Dave and/or Chris Brubeck and features the Bill Crofut-Chris Brubeck Trio with Joel Brown. The original release appeared under the same name on the label Crofut Productions; this new version deletes the three instrumentals and adds two new vocals by von Stade. She is the lone singer on seven of the CD's 13 tracks; she's especially mesmerizing on Chris Brubeck's lovely dissonant ballad "The Distance Between Us" and captivating on Dave and Iola Brubeck's "Strange Meadowlark." Her daughter, Jenny Elkus, who has more of a folk sound, joins her for Chris's "Across Your Dreams" (Jenny's vocal takes the place of Bill Crofut's on this new version). Frederica, or "Flicka" as she is nicknamed, shares the vocals with Bill Crofut on the warm ballad "Summer Song" and has a blast joining Bill and Chris on the wild polytonal "Polly" and equally challenging and amusing "Blue Rondo - A Tribute to Dave" (re-recorded for this release). She also made an important contribution to the arrangement of "It's a Raggy Waltz" by suggesting the side-splitting inclusion of a Viennese waltz interlude. Chris Brubeck's contributions to this project are enormous; he is a formidable songwriter as well as a top-notch trombonist and bassist and a very underrated pianist. The late Bill Crofut, who had previously recorded and toured with Chris, is a versatile banjo player and appealing folk singer. Frederica von Stade's longtime fans need to give this superb release a fair hearing, while fans of Bill Crofut and Chris Brubeck probably will acquire it as soon as they find out about its existence.

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