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  • 21st Century Dizzy: Danilo Perez and Friends
  • Angelique Kidjo
  • Ann Hampton Callaway
  • Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway - Sibling Revelry
  • Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway in Boom!
  • Artie Shaw Orchestra
  • Arturo Sandoval
  • Ashley Kahn: Spoken Moments
  • Barrence Whitfield And The Savages
  • Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
  • Béla Fleck
  • Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
  • Béla Fleck / Zakir Hussain / Edgar Meyer
  • Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio
  • Bill Charlap
  • Bill Charlap and Sandy Stewart
  • Billy Cobham
  • Blues At The Crossroads
  • Bobby McFerrin
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant
  • Chick Corea
  • Chick Corea & Gary Burton Duets
  • China Moses
  • Christian McBride
  • Corea, Clarke & White: Forever
  • Count Basie Orchestra
  • Danilo Perez
  • Dee Daniels
  • Dee Daniels - Great Ladies Of Swing
  • Dee Daniels - The Soul Of Ray Charles
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater
  • Del McCoury Band
  • Delfeayo Marsalis
  • Donny McCaslin
  • Dr. John
  • Dukes Of Dixieland
  • Ellis Marsalis
  • Ernie Watts
  • Fred Hersch
  • Gary Burton
  • Gary Burton Makoto Ozone Duets
  • Glen David Andrews
  • Harold Lopez-Nussa
  • Jack DeJohnette 70th Birthday Tour
  • Jack Jones
  • James Carter
  • James Cotton
  • Jane Monheit
  • Jason Marsalis
  • Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra With Wynton Marsalis
  • Jeff Coffin & the Mu'tet
  • Jim Hall
  • Jimmy Heath
  • Jimmy Herring
  • John McLaughlin
  • John Pizzarelli
  • Jon Anderson
  • Julian Lage
  • Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge
  • Lisa Fischer
  • Liz Callaway
  • Liz Callaway - The Beat Goes On
  • Liz Callaway - Tribute To Broadway
  • Lyle Mays
  • Madeleine Peyroux
  • Makoto Ozone
  • Maria Schneider
  • Marian McPartland
  • Maureen McGovern
  • Meshell Ndegeocello
  • Michel Camilo
  • Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour 55th Anniversary
  • Omaha Diner
  • Oregon With Ralph Towner
  • Ornette Coleman
  • Pat Martino
  • Pat Metheny
  • Pat Metheny Group
  • Pat Metheny Orchestrion
  • Patti Austin
  • Patti Austin & Count Basie Orchestra
  • Pete Seeger
  • POEMJAZZ: Robert Pinsky & Laurence Hobgood
  • Poncho Sanchez
  • Quetzal
  • Ramsey Lewis
  • Ramsey Lewis and Ann Hampton Callaway
  • Ravi Coltrane
  • Red Baraat
  • Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters
  • Rory Block
  • Roy Haynes
  • Royal Southern Brotherhood
  • Rudresh Mahanthappa
  • Simone
  • Sonny Rollins
  • Soul Rebels
  • Stacey Kent
  • Stanley Clarke
  • Taylor Eigsti / Julian Lage Duo
  • Terence Blanchard
  • TestTest
  • The Empty Hearts
  • Tigran
  • Tinsley Ellis
  • Ute Lemper
  • Wintergatan
  • Wynton Marsalis
  • Bill Charlap and Sandy Stewart

     

    For the devotees of the Great American Songbook, few experiences compare to how a masterful vocal interpreter and a truly responsive instrumental accompanist draw forth the richness and nuance from a composition. Somehow the universe of understanding, relating to the initial intentions of the tunesmith, opens up for listeners more readily when melody and lyric are presented in such a basic duo setting, and the gifts of the musical artists themselves can be better appreciated as well. Simplicity encourages this mingling of perception and personality, this mixing of present and past. The rest, of course, is always show biz.

     

    LOVE IS HERE TO STAY delivers heart swells a-plenty. Forget for a moment singer SANDY STEWART and pianist BILL CHARLAP are mother and son; forget that the late Morris “Moose” Charlap, famed Broadway composer, was Sandy’s husband and Bill’s father; that the family’s Manhattan apartment was a meeting place for some of the greatest songwriters ever to enliven western culture in the 20th century; let pass, for now, all the notions of precocity and pedigree inherent in the narrative that brings these two individuals together to make this recording.

     

    Instead, hear the eleven beautiful ballads on this album and rejoice in the glories of timeless song. Inspired by the idea of “creating a personal photo album that we could share,” Charlap said, he and Stewart chose a program that represented, not surprisingly, major popular songwriters such as George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Richard Rodgers and Irving Berlin. (Since Stewart’s last album was the 18-track gem Sings the Songs of Jerome Kern with Dick Hyman at the Piano, an obvious exclusion here is somewhat explained.)

     

    And so Love is Here to Stay commences with a gorgeous rendering of the title track, penned by George and Ira Gershwin, that sets the stage for the set as a whole, musically and thematically. “Sandy has beautiful pitch,” Charlap said, brimming with filial pride. “The depth of meaning that she can bring to a lyric is phenomenal.”

     

    Listeners will want to match their own memories of love and life to masterpieces of urbane sentimentality like Porter’s “After You” and Berlin’s “Always,” as well as Rodgers and Hart’s “Dancing on the Ceiling,” all of which find Stewart in full command, her strong alto voice occasionally shivering with an exquisite tremolo. “The Boy Next Door,” a Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane triumph that Judy Garland made her own in Meet Me in St. Louis stands as both a salute to a real American idol and a revisit with yet another favorite from the soundtrack of a long-ago youth. Two medleys, from Gershwin (“I’ve Got a Crush on You”/“Do It Again,”) and Arlen (“Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe”/“A Sleepin’ Bee”), offer the right amount of sophisticated yearning and ebullience. “Where is Me?” is from the pen of Arthur Siegel, a dear friend of the Charlap family, and its poignant lyric, “A woman is the property of everyone she loves in her life,” reflects the career and family decision that faced Stewart as she made her way up the ladder in the entertainment world. Finally, and most fittingly, two of Moose Charlap’s compositions, “Here I Am in Love Again” and “I’ll Never Go There Anymore,” the latter from the Broadway production of Kelly—get superlative attention here from two people who know the songs better than anyone else alive.

     

    A Philadelphia native, Sandy Stewart made her professional debut as a singer when she was 10. She first met Moose Charlap in her teens when he was renting the rehearsal space downstairs from her voice teacher; they met again, by chance, a decade later in Manhattan, fell in love, married and raised a family. She had a hit with the Grammy-nominated, “My Coloring Book” in 1962. Stewart continued in TV for a while, working with legends like Ernie Kovacs, Ed Sullivan and Perry Como before touring as a vocalist with Benny Goodman and then retiring from the biz at the age of 26 to be home with her two children and two step-children. When Moose Charlap died in 1974, she supported the family by singing on demo sessions and for advertisement jingles. At the urging of her son Bill, Stewart returned to the spotlight 15 years ago. “She’s my favorite female singer of all time,” he says. “When I think of certain songs, all I can hear is her phrasing.”

     

    When it comes to matching the push and verve you’d expect of masterful improvisers with a reverence for the songs—or “standards,” if you will—that have long served as creative templates for jazz artists, few have succeeded in recent years like pianist Bill Charlap. Since 1998 he has worked mostly in a trio with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington (no relation), recalling for many the wonders achieved by the late Tommy Flanagan with the same rhythm section. More than a generation removed from Flanagan, however, Charlap, now 38, exhibits the same wise, almost uncanny understanding of what jazz audiences desire that you see in jazz elders. Simply put, he knows how to make “the familiar” entirely new each time he sits down at the piano.

     

    On Charlap’s latest album, Bill Charlap Plays George Gershwin: The American Soul, his twelfth as a leader, the pianist employs his trio mates to support a frontline out of jazz fan’s dream—namely, saxophonists Phil Woods and Frank Wess, trombonist Slide Hampton and trumpeter Nicholas Payton. The sensitivity and knowing with which Charlap approaches Gershwin and other charter members of the Great American Songbook, can be said to have been learned first-hand, as noteworthies such as lyricist E. Y. Harburg of “Over the Rainbow” fame (whom Charlap called “Uncle Yip”), Charles Strouse and Jule Styne were friends of Charlap’s parents and frequent guests at their Manhattan home while he was growing up, giving him, he says, many opportunities to hear music being worked on “by people I knew well.”

     

    A serious student of classical and jazz piano since starting at New York’s High School of Performing Arts, Charlap was matriculating at SUNY/Purchase College before a recommendation from pianist Bill Mays helped him land a job working with baritone sax star and “cool jazz” pioneer Gerry Mulligan. His prowess as an accompanist earned him gigs with Tony Bennett and Sheila Jordan as well, and in 1995 he joined the Phil Woods Quintet, an association that continues today.

     

    Charlap’s first album on Blue Note Records, Written in the Stars, was released in 2000 and met wide acclaim. Stardust, which feted the music of Hoagy Carmichael, followed two years later with cameos by Bennett, Shirley Horn, Wess and Jim Hall. By then, the pianist’s trio was being recognized by the general public, and on the heels of the release of his 2004 collection of Leonard Bernstein’s songs, Somewhere, Time magazine noted that “Charlap is coming into bloom these days, after years of paying his dues as a musician’s musician…no matter how imaginative or surprising his take on a song is, he invariably zeroes in on its essence.”

     

    Occasional club and cabaret dates over the years with his mother, whom Charlap lauds as the greatest influence on his music, have led to these two gifted artists wanting to document their deep commitment to American song. It’s a formidable achievement by any measure, forged as it is from love.

     

    Publicist Brad Riesau
    DL Media
    301 Sites Way - Big Bear, CA 92314
    Tel. 909-744-0704
    brad@jazzpublicity.com
    Record Label Blue Note
    Contact: Perry Greenfield
    Tel. 212-786-8641 | Fax 212-253-3237
    perry.greenfield@capitolrecords.com
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