Personnel: Dean Parks (guitar); Carole Cole, Monica Cheveresan, Scott Flavin, Huifang Chen, Glen Basham, Evija Ozolins, Adam Diderrich, Marcia Littley, Tomas Cotik, Jennifer Kozbial, Valentin Mansurov, Svetlana Kosakovskaya, Aleksandr Zhuk, Alfredo Oliva (violin); Scott O'Donnell, Chauncey Patterson, Rebecca Diderrich, Lauren Borden, Glenn Loontjens, John T. Posada, Monica Biacchi (viola); David Cole, Ross Harbaugh, Claudio Jaffe, Christopher Glansdrop, Susan Bergeron (cello); Henrik Heide, Matthew D. Roitstein (flute); Robert Weiner (oboe); Maria Serkin, Richard Todd (French horn); Shelly Berg (piano); Jeff Adkins, Juan Carlos Pe¤a (double bass); Gregg Field (drums).
Audio Mixers: Gloria Estefan; Al Schmitt.
Recording information: Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; Crescent Moon Studios, Miami, FL; Freiberg Music Studios, NY; Oliveta Recording Studio, Castelbolognese, RA, Italy; The Hit Factory Criteria, Miami, FL; Westlake Recording Studios, West Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Sam Jones ; Heather Beltran; Jesus Cordero; Kenneth Alvarez; Chris Blandon; William Roman; Alexander Mazzei.
Arranger: Shelly Berg.
Gloria Estefan always has had an element of cabaret in her act but she's never tackled that staple of the supper club, the Great American Songbook, prior to 2013's The Standards. Produced by her husband and longtime collaborator Emilio Estefan, The Standards plays it by the book, choosing familiar songs and playing them in familiar ways. Namely, there are plenty of syrupy strings and tinkling pianos, sometimes punctuated by the murmuring saxophone. Occasionally, Estefan shakes things up a little, adding a little Latin flair to "You Made Me Love You" or moving "What a Wonderful World" toward the parameters of adult contemporary soft rock, styles that suit her just fine without abandoning the concepts of the tried and true. While Estefan may not be extremely well-suited for these songs -- she doesn't burrow into their meaning, she doesn't surprise with her phrasing -- she sings them sweetly in a manner suited to the record's spirit. It's designed as comfort music, after all, so it should be performed in a comforting way, which it is. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine