Review Harold Sings Arlen (With Friend)

Harold Arlen

... read moreComposer Harold Arlen got his start as a singer, and he proves he can carry a tune on this fully realized album of his songs, arranged and conducted by Peter Matz and produced by Thomas Z. Shepard. This is no Cole-Porter-at-the-piano exercise, but a set of orchestrated songs. Arlen's modest singing...

Composer Harold Arlen got his start as a singer, and he proves he can carry a tune on this fully realized album of his songs, arranged and conducted by Peter Matz and produced by Thomas Z. Shepard. This is no Cole-Porter-at-the-piano exercise, but a set of orchestrated songs. Arlen's modest singing voice doesn't quite justify the treatment, but he sings the lyrics of his collaborators with feeling and understanding, and he is joined on a couple of tunes by Barbra Streisand, who has shown an affinity for his work since doing his "A Sleepin' Bee" as her first audition. One might have hoped for more of Arlen's best-known songs, but this collection is a well-rounded look at one of the better and less-famous pop songwriters of the century. ~ William Ruhlmann