The first three reviews of “Retrophonic Gershwin” have been posted just in the last two weeks — a “’S wonderful” antidote to our bleak-midwinter blues. I am doubly grateful that the reviews were overwhelmingly positive, since we are hardly old hands at the whole recording process. As I detailed in a previous blog post, the album took over three years from first recording session to the finished CDs’ arrival in a big box on our doorstep, and that doesn’t include the many months of researching and choosing, then arranging and transcribing the music, or the time spent in pre-production. I certainly learned a lot, and when I’ve recovered enough (or, like in childbirth, forgotten the pain of labor) to think about a next album, there are certainly things I’d do differently, starting with making sure that I’m isolated in a booth and not in the same room with the piano behemoths. It’s also unlikely we’ll do another CD with duo-pianos, as the logistics were very difficult here in Cleveland, from rehearsal to recording — although those Steinways in the Oberlin studio did end up sounding gorgeous, so I’m glad we did it once!
Here are a few of the highlights, with links to the full reviews:
“Though she’s no Miniver Cheevy, soprano Joan Ellison is fond of revisiting what many regard as the golden age of popular song. Her live show, “Gershwin on the Radio,” and her new CD, Retrophonic Gershwin, take her fans back to what she calls in her album notes “a more glamorous age than ours…”
Thus Retrophonic Gershwin draws on the content and vocal stylings preserved on vintage recordings, “everything from inspiration to note-for-note transcriptions,” but also enjoys the state-of-the-art studio amenities of Clonick Hall at Oberlin….
Ellison’s partners-in-time-travel are vocalist Mark Flanders and duo-pianists Jason Aquila and Jodie Ricci, who collectively channel the spirit and style of such Gershwin landmarks as “I Got Rhythm,” “A Foggy Day,” and “The Man I Love” in a twelve-track performance that’s on the short side in duration …but packs in a lot of fine singing and piano playing. The songs may be retro, but Ellison and Flanders make them sound fresh and new.”
— Daniel Hathaway, ClevelandClassical.comRead More