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Standards & Gems

About this Album

Standards & Gems is the culmination of Nonesuch Records' Gershwin Series. The collection features a bounty of well-known George and Ira Gershwin classics, as well as a number of recently discovered, lesser-known songs.

The Nonesuch Gershwin Series was a highlight of the label's activities in the early 1990s. It featured new recordings of such classic George and Ira Gershwin musicals as Lady, Be Good!; Girl Crazy; Oh, Kay!; Strike Up the Band; and Pardon My English—all meticulously restored from lost manuscripts with authentic orchestrations, interpreted by the very best cabaret, Broadway, and recording artists. The critically acclaimed project—undertaken in partnership with the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts and the Library of Congress—collected a host of awards around the world, including Stereo Review's Record of the Year, Holland's Edison Award, Germany's Deutsche Schallplattenpreis, and Gramophone’s Best Theatre Recording Award in 1993 and 1996.

Standards & Gems includes a dozen of the best songs from those recordings, along with three new tracks created expressly for this album, which was released to mark the George Gershwin centennial year. A celebration of the Gershwins’ jazz age collaborations, this collection features performances by some of today's most talented artists, including Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald, Judy Blazer, John Pizzarelli, Rebecca Luker, David Garrison, and Adam Arkin.

Producer Tommy Krasker notes: "It was always our goal with the Gershwin series to create performances that George and Ira themselves would have approved. I think some of the standards have never sounded more exciting or beautiful than in the Gershwins' original settings, and the forgotten songs, many of them unheard in over sixty years, are every bit as good."


The Orchestra of St. Luke’s (3, 6, 8, 12-14)
Eric Stern, conductor (1, 3, 6-8, 10-14)
John Mauceri, conductor (2, 4, 5, 9, 15)

John Pizzarelli (1, 7)
Judy Blazer (2, 12)
Dawn Upshaw (3, 5, 6, 14)
David Garrison (3)
Vicki Lewis (4)
David Carroll (5)
Ann Morrison, Lara Teeter (7)
Audra McDonald (8)
Brent Barrett, Rebecca Luker (9)
Arnetia Walker (10)
William Katt, Michelle Nicastro (11)
Robert Westenberg, Patrick Cassidy, Adam Arkin (13)
Kurt Ollmann (14)
Jason Graae, Juliet Lambert (15)

Chorus: Mark Agnes, Mary Lou Barber, Anthony Bellov, Jennifer Butt, Rondi Charleston, Colleen Clausing, Mark Coffin, Nancy cotton, Larry Daggett, Jack Doyle, Mary Garripoli, Joanna Glushak, Joe Gustern, Evelyn Halus, Scott Harlan, Peter Kevoian, Carol Kline, Kevin Koelbl, Sara Krieger, Lydia Lyons, Daniel Marcus, Bryan Miller, Mark David Miller, Joyce Nolan, Tina Paradiso, Roxann Parker, Larry Raben, Bill Repshar, Darold Riley, Carol Swarbrick, Steve Steiner, Scott Thompson, Deborah Unger, Wendi-Jo Vaughn, Roberta Wall, Bob Wrenn

Compilation produced by Tommy Krasker
Track 1, 7, 10, 11 produced by Tommy Krasker & John McClure; tracks 6, 13, 14 co-produced by Evan Ross
Engineered by Shawn Murphy (1, 7, 10, 11), Tom Lazarus (6, 13, 14), Paul Goodman (9, 15)
Tracks 2, 4, 5 produced by Tommy Krasker & Leroy Parkins, Jr.
Engineered by Paul Goodman
Tracks 3, 8, 12 produced by Tommy Krasker
Engineered by John McClure

Art direction & design: John Costa, New Orleans
Cover photo: City Arabesque, New York, 1938, by Berenice Abbott, courtesy of the Photography collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs, the New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

Executive Producer: Robert Hurwitz

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