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Cover

Cleo Laine

If We Lived on the Top of a Mountain & Portrait

  • Type CD
  • Label Vocalion
  • UPC 0765387851927
  • Catalog number CDSML 8519
  • Release date 18 December 2015
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About the album

Cleo Laine - If We Lived on the Top of a Mountain & Portrait

If We Lived on the Top of a Mountain

1: EASY STREET (Banham; Keene; Evans; Lewis; Paice) 
2: PERDIDO (Tizol; Drake; Lenk)
3: ON A SLOW BOAT TO CHINA (Loesser) 
4: TEA FOR TWO (Youmans; Caesar)
5: CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO (Warren; Gordon)
6: IF WE LIVED ON THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN (Reed; Mason)
7: REMIND ME (Kern; Fields) 
8: SURE AS YOU’RE BORN (YOU’RE IN KENTUCKY) (Little; Gillespie; Shay)
9: COME RAIN OR COME SHINE (Arlen; Mercer) 
10: OH, LADY BE GOOD (G & I Gershwin) 
11: THEY SAY IT’S WONDERFUL (Berlin) 
12: WHO WALKS IN WHEN I WALK OUT? (Hoffman; Goodhart; Freed)
13: SONG WITHOUT WORDS (Dankworth) 

Portrait

14: ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER (Lane; Lerner)
15: BOSSA PALMA NOVA (Dankworth) 
16: THAT CERTAIN FEELING (G & I Gershwin) 
17: FEELING GOOD (Bricusse; Newley) 
18: I COULD WRITE A BOOK (Rodgers; Hart) 
19: MODEL CITIES PROGRAMME (Gibbs; Scott) 
20: RIDIN HIGH (Porter) 
21: THE LOOK OF LOVE (Bacharach; David) 
22: NIGHT OWL (Taylor) 
23: NEVER LET ME GO (Livingston; Evans)
24: IT WILL SOON BE SPRING (Sykes) 
25: AQUARIUS (MacDermot; Ragni; Rado)

Featured musicians:
John Dankworth (alto sax),
Laurie Holloway (piano),
Derek Watkins (trumpet),
Tony Coe (tenor sax)

Throughout the 1960s and early ’70s Cleo Laine made a series of albums for Fontana and its parent label, Philips, which featured her remarkable four-octave voice in material ranging from jazz re-imaginings of Shakespeare (Shakespeare and All that Jazz) and American songbook material to contemporary popular songs. On each she was accompanied by her husband, John Dankworth (1927-2010), and a band comprising the cream of British jazz talent. The two albums compiled here are no exception. Dating from 1968, If We Lived on the Top of a Mountain contains a multitude of evergreens put over in Cleo’s inimitable style. John Dankworth, David Lindup and Ed Harvey were on hand to provide the scintillating big band orchestrations, while the title track (the album’s only modern song) came from the pens of renowned songwriters Les Reed and Barry Mason. And in the band on this occasion were such luminaries as Laurie Holloway (piano), Derek Watkins (trumpet), Tony Coe (tenor sax) and Dankworth himself on alto sax.

1971’s Portrait album is a somewhat different proposition. Dankworth and his musicians once again provided the musical accompaniment and there are a fair few songs from the standard repertoire (among them brilliant renditions of Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner’s On a Clear Day You Can See Forever and Cole Porter’s Ridin’ High). But here the accent is on contemporary material and includes John Dankworth’s enchanting Bossa Palma Nova (from his score for the film Fathom), Bacharach’s The Look of Love, Aquarius (from the musical Hair – resplendent in a raucous big band arrangement) and singer-songwriter James Taylor’s Night Owl. Perhaps the two most outstanding pieces, however, are trombonist-composer Mike Gibbs’ Model Cities Programme, which alternates between pensive lyricism and strident jazz-rock, and Peter Sykes’ hauntingly beautiful It Will Soon be Spring, which sounds very much like a theme in search of a film. Thanks to Cleo Laine’s artistry, the songs on both albums take on a new life and are invested with new meaning – and remind us of why she is one of the world’s great jazz singers.

Remastered directly from the original stereo analogue tapes.

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