MICHAEL FEINSTEIN, the five-time Grammy Award nominated, platinum-selling singer and pianist, will release his new CD Fly Me To The Moon – featuring guitar legend JOE NEGRI – on September 28, 2010. The disc, released through DuckHole Records, will be available on iTunes, Amazon.com and in stores on Tuesday, September 28. The CD is being released in conjunction with “Michael Feinstein’s American Songbook,” the primetime PBS-TV reality/documentary series, which starts airing nationally on Wednesday, October 6.
This intimate new recording of classic standards with a sustained meditative mood follows in the tradition of singers like Johnny Mathis and Sammy Davis, Jr., who recorded popular albums with guitar accompaniment. Michael and Joe first met on one of Michael’s performances with the Pittsburg Symphony, where Negri is the regular guitarist.
“Joe is so facile that can play just about anything,” says Michael. “He is extraordinarily talented and very easy to collaborate with. Music just pours out of him.”
The CD was produced by Mr. Feinstein and also boasts Jay Leonhart on bass and Joe Cucuzzo on drums.
Fly Me To The Moon features time-honored standards like “It Could Happen To You,” which includes the rarely-recorded verse. The Bart Howard title track – long ago changed from its original moniker “In Other Words” – tends to be taken at a fast pace. For this album, Feinstein and Negri restore the delicate waltz time in which it was written.
“Lonely Town” – from the stage musical On The Town – was one of the selections that Negri suggested.
Feinstein recalls, “When I met Frank Sinatra, he told me how disappointed he was that the film’s producer Arthur Freed wouldn’t let him sing the song when he starred in On The Town. He had a great vision of performing it while Gene Kelly danced to it.”
The rarity “One Love In My Life” by Harry Warren and Murray Grand, receives its first recording on this album. The melody was written by Warren as background music for a dramatic scene in the movie 42nd Street. Many years later, Feinstein found the sheet music and convinced his friend Murray Grand, the acclaimed songwriter of “Guess Who I Saw Today” and other hits, to pen the lyrics, even though they were never published.
A particular treat is Michael’s beautiful vocal rendition of “Meditation,” his first recording of a song associated with the Bossa Nova pioneer Antonio Carlos Jobim. The tune, however, is one of the few in which Jobim wrote the original lyric instead of the melody. Michael performs the English lyrics that Norman Gimbel set to Newton Mendonca’s music.
“A Mist Is On The Moon” by Oscar Hammerstein II and Ben Oakland (“Java Jive,” “I’ll Take Romance”) was recorded by Tony Martin in 1938; when Michael recently asked Tony if he remembered the song, the 96 year-old sang it back word for word.