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Happy Songs

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    Following the birth of her daughter, Audra wanted to do an album that expressed the joy she was feeling. She decided to devote a CD to songs from the 1930s and early '40s: a time when music provided the kind of uplift and optimism that people so badly needed.

    The new album includes selections by such classic songwriters as Harold Arlen, Vincent Youmans, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, and George & Ira Gershwin, with new arrangements that evoke the era. Continuing her longstanding commitment to new composers, Audra has also included songs by Michael John LaChiusa and Jay Leonhart. Happy Songs follows two previous widely successful releases for the label, How Glory Goes (2000) and her label debut, Way Back to Paradise (1998).

    Audra made her Carnegie Hall solo debut on November 2, 2002, performing selections from Happy Songs with a full band. An earlier New York performance had prompted New York Times critic Stephen Holden to proclaim Audra “a meteoric talent with a promise comparable to that of the young Streisand.”

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    Audra McDonald, vocals
    Ted Sperling, conductor
    Violin: Suzanne Ornstein, concertmistress; Cecelia Hobbs, Laura Oatts, Andrew Stein (soloist on 6, 7, 11), Belinda Whitney, Xin Zhao 
    Viola: Michael Nicholas, Debra Shufelt
    Cello: Adam Grabois, Clay Ruede      
    Bass: Peter Donovan
    Woodwinds: Lawrence Feldman, clarinet, alto saxophone, flute; Rick Heckman, clarinet, tenor saxophone, oboe, English horn, flute; Paul Sundfor, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, piccolo; Mark Thrasher, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone; Walter Weiskopf, clarinet
    Trumpet: Craig Johnson, Larry Lunetta, Brian O'Flaherty
    Trombone: Michael Boschen, Mark Patterson, Jack Schatz
    French Horn: Chris Komer
    Drums/percussion: William Hayes, David Ratajczak
    Harp: Grace Paradise
    Guitar/banjo: Kevin Kuhn      
    Piano/celeste: Lee Musiker, Ted Sperling
    Vocal trio: Leo Daignault, Steven Freeman, David Engel

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by Tommy Krasker
    Recorded by Joel Moss
    Recorded August 2001 at The Hit Factory, New York City
    Assistant Engineers: Michael McCoy and Richard Johnson
    Additional recording May 2002 at Sound on Sound Studios, New York City
    Assistant Engineer: Bart Migal
    Edited by Jan Folkson at Avatar Studios
    Mixed by Tom Lazarus at Classic Sound Inc., New York City
    Mastered by Scott Hull at Classic Sound Inc., New York City

    Music Preparation: Donald Oliver, Chelsea Music Service, Inc.; and Emily Grishman Music Preparation
    Orchestral Contractor: John Miller

    Design by Jeri Heiden, SMOG
    Cover image: Original Photograph: Washington, D.C., Greyhound Bus Terminal on the Day Before Christmas in the Waiting Room, 1941 by John Vachon; Photograph of Audra McDonald by Katie Murray; Digital composite by Showbran; Bruce Fizzell, consultant

    Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

on May 29, 2008 - 7:14pm
Release Date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2002 (All day)
Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

79645

Number of Discs in Set: 
1disc
76
473
Tuesday, September 17, 2002 (All day)
0
0
Artist Name: 
Audra McDonald
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
UPC: 
075597964523BUN
Price: 
14.00
Label: 
CD+MP3
UPC: 
075597964561
Price: 
10.00
Label: 
MP3
Description: 

Following the birth of her daughter, Audra wanted to do an album that expressed the joy she was feeling. She decided to devote a CD to songs from the 1930s and early '40s: a time when music provided the kind of uplift and optimism that people so badly needed.

The new album includes selections by such classic songwriters as Harold Arlen, Vincent Youmans, Rodgers & Hart, Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington, and George & Ira Gershwin, with new arrangements that evoke the era. Continuing her longstanding commitment to new composers, Audra has also included songs by Michael John LaChiusa and Jay Leonhart. Happy Songs follows two previous widely successful releases for the label, How Glory Goes (2000) and her label debut, Way Back to Paradise (1998).

Audra made her Carnegie Hall solo debut on November 2, 2002, performing selections from Happy Songs with a full band. An earlier New York performance had prompted New York Times critic Stephen Holden to proclaim Audra “a meteoric talent with a promise comparable to that of the young Streisand.”

DescriptionExcerpt: 

On Happy Songs, McDonald focuses primarily on numbers popularized in the '30s and '40s, from such composers as Arlen, Ellington, and Rodgers & Hart. U.S. News and World Report says, "The Broadway star wraps her plush voice around upbeat tunes … The music's a delight."

ProductionCredits: 

MUSICIANS
Audra McDonald, vocals
Ted Sperling, conductor
Violin: Suzanne Ornstein, concertmistress; Cecelia Hobbs, Laura Oatts, Andrew Stein (soloist on 6, 7, 11), Belinda Whitney, Xin Zhao 
Viola: Michael Nicholas, Debra Shufelt
Cello: Adam Grabois, Clay Ruede      
Bass: Peter Donovan
Woodwinds: Lawrence Feldman, clarinet, alto saxophone, flute; Rick Heckman, clarinet, tenor saxophone, oboe, English horn, flute; Paul Sundfor, clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, piccolo; Mark Thrasher, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, baritone saxophone; Walter Weiskopf, clarinet
Trumpet: Craig Johnson, Larry Lunetta, Brian O'Flaherty
Trombone: Michael Boschen, Mark Patterson, Jack Schatz
French Horn: Chris Komer
Drums/percussion: William Hayes, David Ratajczak
Harp: Grace Paradise
Guitar/banjo: Kevin Kuhn      
Piano/celeste: Lee Musiker, Ted Sperling
Vocal trio: Leo Daignault, Steven Freeman, David Engel

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by Tommy Krasker
Recorded by Joel Moss
Recorded August 2001 at The Hit Factory, New York City
Assistant Engineers: Michael McCoy and Richard Johnson
Additional recording May 2002 at Sound on Sound Studios, New York City
Assistant Engineer: Bart Migal
Edited by Jan Folkson at Avatar Studios
Mixed by Tom Lazarus at Classic Sound Inc., New York City
Mastered by Scott Hull at Classic Sound Inc., New York City

Music Preparation: Donald Oliver, Chelsea Music Service, Inc.; and Emily Grishman Music Preparation
Orchestral Contractor: John Miller

Design by Jeri Heiden, SMOG
Cover image: Original Photograph: Washington, D.C., Greyhound Bus Terminal on the Day Before Christmas in the Waiting Room, 1941 by John Vachon; Photograph of Audra McDonald by Katie Murray; Digital composite by Showbran; Bruce Fizzell, consultant

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz