Mary Martin

Musical Love Story

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On an album that is anything but typical for Disneyland Records, Mary Martin turns in a concept collection of warm, romantic love songs, arranged as two side-long medleys. Martin's conductor, John Lesko, uses a small jazz band for almost the entire LP, with a piano/bass/drums rhythm section augmented by soloists on trumpet, guitar, and xylophone. But the focus is on Martin, who flits from one brief reading of a classic 1930s love song to another, linking them with a word or a phrase as another familiar melody kicks in. Rodgers & Hart, the Gershwins, Jerome Kern with Oscar Hammerstein II, and Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh, among others, provide these standards, all songs in which the singer affirms a statement of romantic devotion. Martin is well suited to the material, with her rich alto used to intimate effect. The album ends with two songs from her early champion, Cole Porter, and when a full swing band comes in for the closer, "From This Moment On," it's a shock, but it gives the album a lively sendoff.

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