Susannah McCorkle

Let's Face the Music: The Songs of Irving Berlin

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Susannah McCorkle, who consistently brings out new meanings in the lyrics she interprets, performs 16 Irving Berlin songs (complete with verses and sometimes lesser-known stanzas) on this delightful set. There is solo space for trumpeter Gregory Gisbert, trombonist Conrad Herwig, young tenor great Chris Potter and altoist Jerry Dodgion; the arrangements by Rich DeRosa are surprisingly modern, and McCorkle is heard in prime form. Among the many highlights are a wistful rendition of "Let's Face the Music and Dance," and a sensuous "Cheek to Cheek," "Let Yourself Go," and a wonderful closer, a version of "Waiting at the End of the Road" on which the singer is accompanied only by the rhythm guitar of Al Gafa. Although this interpretation of "There's No Business Like Show Business" (greatly slowed down and surprisingly touching) is not quite as classic as McCorkle's version of a decade earlier, this is overall a highly recommended set by a superb singer.

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