- Released: July 7, 1998
- Label: Warner Bros / WEA
- 1.Bugs Bunny on Broadway, revue: Overture - Merrie Melodies Main Title Music
- 2.This is a Life?, film score
- 3.High Note, film score
- 4.What's Up, Doc?, film score
- 5.Baton Bunny, film score
- 6.Jumpin' Jupiter, film score
- 7.The Rabbit of Seville, film score
- 8.Bugs Bunny on Broadway, revue: Act II Entr'acte
- 9.A Corny Concerto, film score
- 10.Long-Haired Hare, film score
- 11.What's Opera, Doc?, film score
- 12.Merrily We Roll Along
Recorded at The Power Station, New York.
Personnel: Grace Paradise (harp); Abe Appleman, Kathryn Kienke, Maura Giannini, Masako Yanagita, George Wozniak, Marion Pinheiro, Ming Yeh, Cecilia Hobbs, Laura Corcos, Elena Barere, Robert Chausow, Arnie Roth, Carol Pool, Katherine LiVolsi Stern, Ann Leathers (violin); Karen Ritscher, Katherine Rife, Sandra Robbins, Paul Cortese, Carol Landon, Jan Mullen (viola); Diane Barere, Eliana Mendoza, Roberta Cooper, Deborah Yamak, Chase Morrison, Eugene J. Moye (cello); Carol Morgan (flute, bass flute, piccolo); Caroline Pittman (flute); Brian Hysong (clarinet, bass clarinet); Meryl Abt-Greenfield (clarinet); Diane Lesser (oboe, English horn); Washington Barella (oboe); Ethan Bauch, Atsuko Sato (bassoon); Larry Moses, Chris Gekker (trumpet); Richard Hagen, Kaitilin Mahony, Ron Sell, Leise Anschuetz (French horn); Andy Seligson (trombone, tuba); Richard Clark, Dean Plank, John Taylor (trombone); Leo Marchildon (piano); Jaime Austria, John Babich, Gail Kruvand (double bass); Benjamin Herman (timpani, percussion); Joe Pusateri, David Carey (percussion); Robb Wenner (sound effects).
Audio Mixer: Steve Boyer.
Liner Note Authors: Chuck Jones ; George Daugherty.
Recording information: Power Station Studios, New York, NY.
Editor: Chris Bellman.
Photographers: Dennis Keeley; Keely, Dennis.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Eric Weissberg; Leo Marchildon; Andy Seligson; Joe Pusateri; Paul Cortese; Carl Johnson ; Caroline Pittman; Marion Pinheiro; David Carey; Barry Bongiovi; John Babich; Cecilia Hobbs; Warner Bros. Orchestra; Tony Bongiovi; Benjamin Herman; Eugene J. Moye.
In 1990, amidst a variety of Bugs Bunny-themed ventures, George Daugherty conceived and pulled off a concert presentation based on the classic Bugs/Warner Bros cartoons that took a cue from classical music, including one of the all-time acknowledged greats, "What's Opera, Doc." Daugherty's idea was simple -- take the cartoons, strike new prints, set up sync tracks, and have a live 50-piece orchestra perform the tracks live on-stage. That he was allowed to carry this idea through was astonishing enough. That it worked once is breathtaking. That the Warner Bros. Orchestra managed to pull it off, on Broadway, night after night, is a tribute to the people involved, because we're talking about precision timing here -- from an orchestra involved in complex scores played at breakneck speed with only a click track in one ear for tempo and no sight of the screen. The result was a massive hit both on tour and on Broadway.
Bugs Bunny on Broadway is a shortened version of that adventure into musical madness. It's a wonderful companion to and expansion on The Carl Stalling Project in that it provides fresh renditions of classic scores (with a resulting dynamic and cleanness that's wonderful). It also provides some sterling examples of Milt Franklyn, whose position as Stalling's arranger through the years made him a perfect successor as the scores to "Baton Bunny," "The High Note" (an exceptional non-Bugs outing from Chuck Jones) and "What's Opera, Doc?" prove beyond a doubt. Still, it's those demented Stalling scores that have the edge -- "A Corny Concerto" (with conductor Daugherty and post-production supervisor Robb Wenner providing voices) masterfully demolishes Johann Strauss and Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky with brilliant mixes of music and effects, hewing to the originals only when needed. In "Long-Haired Hare," Stalling and company brilliantly cross numerous classical themes, songs, sound effects and dialogue -- it's almost as funny on record as it is on film.
The new recordings are first-rate -- clear, well-balanced and astonishingly dynamic. The production is clear and well-mixed without any digital harshness, and the analog elements (from the original cartoon tracks) are blended nicely. The tracks taken from the soundtracks of the original cartoons have been cleaned up remarkably, though their origin is certainly clear enough. In that respect, this disc manages to improve on The Carl Stalling Project, which suffered from an inability to reduce noise and improve dynamic and frequency ranges beyond a certain limit. If you like Warner Bros. animation or terrific motion picture scores, don't pass up this disc. It's the key link between Spike Jones and P.D.Q. Bach. ~ Steven McDonald