- Released: May 8, 2001
- Label: Warner Bros Mod Afw
Entertainment Weekly - 6/22/01, p.91
"With this set of smart, swinging songs, DeLaria makes a beguiling jazz vocal debut..." - Rating: B+
Q - 9/01, p.1084 stars out of 5
- "...One of the most beautiful voices around, and this is a significant jazz debut..."
- 1.Ballad of Sweeney Todd, The - (from "Sweeney Todd")
- 2.Cool - (from "West Side Story")
- 3.I've Got Your Number - (from "Little Me")
- 4.With Every Breath I Take - (from "City Of Angels")
- 5.All That Jazz - (from "Chicago")
- 6.Life Has Been Good to Me - (from "Faust")
- 7.Welcome to My Party - (from "The Wild Party")
- 8.Lowdown-Down - (from "The Wild Party")
- 9.Once in a Lifetime - (from "Stop The World I Want To Get Off")
- 10.Losing My Mind - (from "Follies")
- 11.Straight to the Top - (from "Frank's Wild Years")
Personnel: Lea DeLaria (vocals); Howard Alden (acoustic guitar); Gil Goldstein (accordion, piano); Jon Gordon, Vincent Herring (alto saxophone); Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone); Roger Rosenberg (baritone saxophone); Scott Robinson (bass saxophone); Scott Wendholt (trumpet); Tom Varner (French horn); Keith O'Quinn (trombone); Bob Stewart (tuba); Brad Mehldau, Larry Goldings, Gil Goldstein (piano); Larry Grenadier (bass); Gregory Hutchinson (drums).
Recorded at Sear Sound, New York, New York.
Personnel: Lea DeLaria (vocals); Howard Alden (acoustic guitar); Jon Gordon (alto saxophone); Seamus Blake (tenor saxophone); Roger Rosenberg (baritone saxophone); Scott Wendholt (trumpet); Tom Varner (French horn); Keith O'Quinn (trombone); Bob Stewart (tuba); Larry Goldings, Gil Goldstein, Brad Mehldau (piano); Gregory Hutchinson (drums).
Audio Mixer: James Farber.
Recording information: Sear Sound, New York, NY.
Editor: Andy Snitzer.
Arrangers: John McMahon; Larry Goldings; Gil Goldstein.
On Play It Cool, her debut CD for Warner Bros. Records, vocalist Lea DeLaria reinterprets 11 compositions from contemporary musical theater, including "Cool" from West Side Story, "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" from Sweeney Todd, and "All That Jazz" from Chicago. Her vocal instrument is both complementary and unique in its interpretations of the lyrics, and covers a broad range of musical theater, both comedy and drama. This is not an easy task. DeLaria utilizes several vocal techniques to bring each song to life, including scatting, elongated phrasing, swing, and balladeering. She also makes excellent use of the basic skills of music theory: harmony, rhythm, and melody. Among the more memorable highlights on the CD is her great phrasing and delivery on "Lowdown-Down" from The Wild Party. Her vocals provide an excellent foil for the saxophone voices of Seamus Blake, Roger Rosenberg, Vincent Herring, and Scott Robinson, who play tenor, baritone, alto, and bass, respectively. Her up-tempo swinging rendition of "Once in a Lifetime" is a refreshing change from the overly used ballad approach of the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley hit from Stop the World, I Want to Get Off. She's doing great things on this CD, and it is one any collector of Broadway show tunes would appreciate having in his or her collection. ~ Paula Edelstein