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Bring Back Romance

Ann Hampton Callaway

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Album Review

If, as they say, "variety is the spice of life," Ann Hampton Callaway's second album forDRG is especially piquant. On a program of 14 numbers, including five she composed, Callaway brings a flock of people into the studio. There are three arrangers, including the eminent composer Richard Rodney Bennett, four different piano players, and at least three rhythm-section players along with an assortment of reeds, horns, and strings. The result is an interesting potpourri of more than 55 minutes of swirling but assured and confident singing. Although there's an assortment of arrangers, to their credit their charts complement and reinforceCallaway's vocal strengths. She has a way — at least on some cuts — of creating an almost eerie atmosphere with her voice, bringing to mind hazy afternoons and hushed foggy evenings with her voice floating overhead. Aiding and abetting in creating this atmosphere are not only the arrangers, but the musicians. Lou Marini's delicate flute and carefree alto sax are prominent on a slower than usual "How Long Has This Been Going On?" There's a jungle music-like introduction to the Callaway-penned title tune, "Bring Back Romance," then seguing into a soft rock tempo. Some of the arrangements on this CD are complex, but there are less ornate tracks like a jumping "There Will Never Be Another You," with Lee Musiker's piano providing the bulk of the support. Callaway's straight-ahead way with lyrics comes through loud (figuratively speaking) and clear on a jazzy "You Go to My Head," again with Marini's flute fluttering in the background before he takes out his sultry tenor. This track is one of the album's highlights, along with an upbeat and bouncy "It Could Happen to You." The result of all this is something for everybody, from heavily embellished arrangements through very emotional renditions like "My Shining Hour" to comparatively simple and basic jazz singing. Each track is like the weather. If you don't like it now, wait a few minutes and it will change.

Biography

Born: 30 May 1959 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Pop/jazz singer and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway is the daughter of television journalist John Callaway and vocal coach Shirley Callaway, and the sister of Broadway performer Liz Callaway. She was born and raised in Chicago. Her earliest recordings were on a series of releases by Ben Bagley's Painted Smiles label; she recorded bonus tracks for CD reissues of Noel Coward Revisited (1990), Cole Porter Revisited (1991), and Alan Jay Lerner Revisited (1992), as well as appearing on recordings of the...
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Bring Back Romance, Ann Hampton Callaway
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