Although never attaining the pinnacle reached by other contributors to the Great American Popular Songbook, Jerome Moross was a prolific donor to many musical genres. He wrote for films, the musical stage, the ballet, and classical music. With regard to the latter, Sir Thomas Beecham premiered his "Symphony No. 1" with the Seattle Symphony in 1943. His The Golden Apple won the 1954 Drama Critics Award. Moross' favorite lyricist/ collaborator was John Latouche, with whom he wrote probably his most popular song, at least in terms of the number of times it's been recorded and the variety of performers who have recorded it, "Lazy Afternoon," from Mabel Mercer to Art Pepper. Working with Moross' daughter, producer Tommy Krasker gathered together some of New York's better musical stage and revue performers first for a tribute to Moross, which was performed in 2000 in New York, and then for this CD of songs from some of his more important works. While perhaps not many of these tunes come quickly to the minds and lips of the American public, he certainly had a versatile way with his composing pen. There's a lilting saloon song, "Beer and Flowers," the dramatic, lovely "Stay With Me," and a jazzy "That Extra Bit," the latter sassily performed by Jessica Molaskey. The entire agenda of 19 songs is sung with enthusiasm and dedication by Alice Ripley, Richard Muenz, Molaskey, Philip A. Chaffin, and Jenny Giering, all under the musical leadership of Eric Stern. This is an entertaining set and is recommended.
AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan