Various Artists - Make Believe (Music CD)

Release Date: 04 April 2011
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Veteran Broadway actress Jessica Molaskey's third CD for PS Classics is a mix of favorites from musicals and standards from the Great American Songbook, though many of these compositions have not been recorded much at all for quite some time. Backed by a band that includes husband John Pizzarelli on guitar along with her guitarist father-in-law Bucky Pizzarelli, trombonist John Mosca, tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, and a number of superb New York-based musicians, Molaskey's acting skills come across even though the listener can't see her perform these timeless tunes. She sounds young and flirty in "I Cain't Say No" (from Oklahoma!) in a superb orchestration by John Clayton, while restoring the often omitted verse. She soars in the stunning strings and piano arrangement of "Make Believe." But one of the assets of Molaskey's choice of songs is rediscovering overlooked gems like "Stepsisters' Lament," making the most of its hilarious lyrics in a rapid-fire rendition. A very welcome guest is singer Adam Guettel (Richard Rodgers' grandson) in the warm duet of Rodgers' melancholy "Glad to Be Unhappy" with a brilliant orchestration by Don Sebesky. Husband John Pizzarelli sings with his wife in the humorous interwoven medley of Jon Hendricks' bop classic "Cloudburst" and Stephen Sondheim's "Getting Married Today," a real laugh riot arranged by Jason Robert Brown. Molaskey jointly wrote the bittersweet ballad "Cradle and All" with Ricky Ian Gordon, which features another fine orchestration by Sebesky. The only thing better than listening to this outstanding CD is getting to hear Jessica Molaskey perform in person. ~ Ken Dryden
Release Date: 04 April 2011

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Catalogue No: PS422