BWW CD Reviews: Original Cast Records' LOST BROADWAY, VOLUME 6: JEROME KERN is a Treasure Trove of Tunes

Courtesy of Original Cast Records.

Original Cast Records is continuing to shed light on forgotten Broadway tunes with their Lost Broadway and More series. Most recently, they highlighted the overlooked tunes of the legendary Jerome Kern by releasing LOST BROADWAY AND MORE, VOLUME 6: JEROME KERN. The disc is a treasure trove of hit ditties from the early 20th century, and each gem is delightfully sung.

The album opens with a charming rendition of the overture from THE BEAUTY PRIZE, played on the piano with dexterity by Michael Lavine. As the album progresses, he continues to tickle the keys with charisma, accompanying the vocalists with Kern's bright chord progressions and whimsical compositions. Whether you've been acquainted with Jerome Kern before or not, Michael Lavine's playing of his work ensures that the cheerful tunes bounce their way into the hearts of the listeners.

Each song transports the audience back to the early 1900s, letting us bask in the lighthearted, dulcet tones of early American musicals. However, these tunes come from works that often did not use song to progress the plot, so they exist as songs that easily stand on their when separated from the show in which they originated. Standout performances on the album include Michael Marcotte and Erick Pinnick's effervescent rendition of "Any Old Night" from NOMBODY HOME, Kerry Conte and Michael Lavine's heartfelt take on "Don't Turn My Picture to the Wall" from THE GIRL FROM MONTMARTE, Kerry Conte's sweetly crooned "Cinderella Girl" from CRISS-CROSS, and Michael Marcotte's appealing "Have a Heart (#1)" from ZIEGFELD FOLLIES OF 1916.

When it comes to the early composers of American musical theatre, Jerome Kern is definitely at the top of his class. Original Cast Records' LOST BROADWAY, VOLUME 6: JEROME KERN serves as an excellent reminder of his skill. Even on these "lesser" and forgotten tunes, his compositions are lively and infectious, making this a great disc to add to the collection of anyone who truly loves the art form.

Original Cast Records released LOST BROADWAY, VOLUME 6: JEROME KERN on June 24, 2014. The CD can be purchased from Footlight Records' online store and Amazon.

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