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You Make Me Feel So Young: Live At Feinstein's

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Album Review

Barbara Cook confesses at the outset of this live recording, made in June 2011 at Feinstein's at the Regency in New York, that she has run out of ideas for themes for her nightclub sets and this time has just picked a batch of good songs she's never sung before. This isn't quite true, but it is understandable that Cook wouldn't want to state the show's theme specifically since, as the title You Make Me Feel So Young suggests, that theme concerns aging, and the perpetually young singer is 83. But why should she acknowledge that if she doesn't feel it or, especially, sound like it? Cook's voice is remarkably intact on these songs, whether she is intoning the long lines of a sad ballad like "I'm a Fool to Want You" or bouncing along to the lively rhythms of the opener, "Are You Havin' Any Fun?" But that song states the evening's throughline when the singer reminds her listeners, "You aren't gonna live forever." Other songs, such as Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane's "Wait ‘Til You're Sixty-Five" and "Here's to Life" also explore the matter of seniority, and even when the point is not made in so many words, it often is by implication, as in "What Did I Have That I Don't Have?," another Lerner/Lane composition. Cook makes a point of dedicating Stephen Sondheim's "Live Alone and Like It" to her divorced listeners, including herself in the category. It's true that not every song is about the concerns of getting and being old, but those that aren't tend to be change-of-pace palate clearers like Nat King Cole's "The Frim Fram Sauce," for which Cook breaks out a kazoo and does a solo. Even before then, her backup band has given much of the music a 1920s hot jazz feel, especially in the woodwind work of Steve Kenyon. Musical director Lee Musiker, meanwhile, has his own fast solo in "This Can't Be Love." The entire band gets a workout on a closing version of "I Got Rhythm" that might be called "The ‘I Got Rhythm' Variations." As a coda, Cook reasonably looks to a hopeful future with a songwriter outside her usual realm, turning in a precise and unadorned version of John Lennon's "Imagine" over Musiker's piano. It shows that, at whatever age one may be, idealism is still possible.

Customer Reviews

THIS WOMAN IS A MIRACLE

I hate to talk about age . I just think that Miss Cook has a gift and is a gift . Most women of a age there voice starts to get reedie and thin . She may not hit some of the notes she did but , there is very little difrence in her voice . If you love good singing by a great voice . You will love this CD.

Great Voice

Good and sharp voice, always nice to listen too.

Biography

Born: October 25, 1927 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A singer with a warm, light soprano, Barbara Cook became a successful Broadway musical performer in the 1950s and '60s. In the '70s, she moved largely into cabaret singing, at which she was equally successful. Born Barbara Nell in Atlanta, GA, on October 25, 1927, she took an early interest in singing and appeared in kiddie shows as a child. At 14, she won the ten-dollar prize at an amateur-night contest at the Roxy Theatre in Atlanta, singing "My Devotion." In February 1948, accompanied by her mother,...
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