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Trentcanuck (Regina, SK, Canada)

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Offered by samurai_media_JPN4CA
Price: CDN$ 51.06
5 used & new from CDN$ 34.10

5.0 out of 5 stars Good X-mas EP -stop griping about the price!, Dec 29 2001
I am compelled to write because there are a lot of unfairly negative reviews on this disc -misplaced frustration which is undeserved because the complaints don't even relate to the quality of the CD, which is really the point.
The 2 major issues are: "What IS this disc?", and "why is it so expensive?"
1. This is an EP created for the Japanese market (I was looking at this disc in the store today, and the packaging is written in Japanese!). Most every artist has distributors in various countries of the world, and these distributors typically create unique releases for their domestic marketplace. You can, for instance, get a German edition of a U2 record which will have "bonus material" not included in other releases of the disc (some artists collect these outakes and release them more widely as "rarities and B-sides" albums.
Diana Krall released this X-mas EP in Canada in late 1999; it was 3 Christmas songs and a year 2000 desk calendar which fit in the jewel case... This year Diana's Japanese distributor packaged these 3 songs with some other unreleased material and created the collection you are all complaining about.
2.) The reason it is so expensive is that it's an import. You'd be paying this much for all CD's if they were originally priced for the Japanese market and were then imported here.
The reason this disc seems like a rip-off is that you're buying it in America, where it was never intended to be sold. I suspect that on the shelf in a Japanese store, compared to the other prices, it would likely be totally reasonable.
Judge this disc for what it is, not what you wish it was. For what it is, a X-mas sampler which cost its domestic edition, it's an enjoyable holiday treat!

Mel Torme at Michael's Pub
Mel Torme at Michael's Pub
Price: CDN$ 14.31
31 used & new from CDN$ 1.60

5.0 out of 5 stars Mel Torme: live, in a small club.... -Wow!, Dec 27 2001
The greatest "missed opportunity" regret of my life, musically speaking, was missing a chance to see Mel and his band on a Canadian tour in the late '80s. I was booked to fly to Europe five days before he would play in my home city.
This CD gives a glimpse into the amazing experience of Mr. Torme in concert, even late in his life. This was recorded in NYC at a small club where Mel had an annual standing date with a big band. As it happens, this is the disc I had playing when I logged onto this site, and as I'm sitting here listening I had to write my endorsement. Quite simply, Mel Torme is arguably the most overlooked talent in Jazz singing, and compared to some of his contemporaries (Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Joe Williams) Mel's voice has aged amazingly; his voice is different than when he was 20, but I can't say it's diminished at all. This disc showcases his effortless phrasing, impeccable intonation and timing -a real vocal showcase! Listen as he perfectly scats a Charlie Parker solo on track 14! The song selections are summed up by the album title, but really are characteristic of a typical Torme live setlist: a mix of familiar and lesser-known songs by America's great composers.
One final detail to mention: the sonic quality of this disc is outstanding! It's on the Telarc label, noted for their quality recordings, and it really showcases what a good stereo system can do; there's a palpable sense of the recording venue, with a wide, deep soundstage and distinct imaging placement of the instruments.

When I Look in Your Eyes
When I Look in Your Eyes
Price: CDN$ 16.75
79 used & new from CDN$ 0.70

3.0 out of 5 stars Diana goes further into "Easy Listening" territory....-Sad., Dec 26 2001
I bought Ms Krall's first CD in 1993, and she quickly was established as one of my favourite artists; I've recommended her albums to others, seen her in concert several times, and even met her once (briefly). I really like her as an artist and a person. That makes it all the more disappointing for me as a longtime fan to see the direction her career has taken since the marketing folks at GRP got ahold of her. Her first three CD's were characterized by a strong, natural singing style, and solid improvisiation and interplay between instrumentalists. -She used to swing! Her fourth disc, Love Scenes, introduced a new marketing approach, capitalizing on Ms. Krall's beauty to catch the attention of a wider audience. This was accompanied by a new singing style: more breathy, sultry, "pop". Instrumentally, the "swing" was gone, the solos now truncated.
This CD goes even further, nearly devoid of the joy, energy, and life that previously characterized Ms. Krall's work. One may apply Duke Ellington's famed Jazz litmus test: "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing"; this disc doesn't! Regarding other reviews, it should be noted that some of the Jazz critics who have been negative about this release are not people with a prejudice against her; they're the same ones who championed Diana Krall earlier in her career, when she was still making jazz records.
The sad conclusion for those of us who love Diana Krall: there's more jazz in her current "Christmas is Comin' Again" jingle for Target stores, than in her last 3 CD's combined!

Stepping Out
Stepping Out
Price: CDN$ 18.10
45 used & new from CDN$ 4.36

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diana Krall at her best: She sings! She plays! She swings!, Dec 26 2001
This review is from: Stepping Out (Audio CD)
This is a great CD: vintage Diana Krall before the marketing folks at GRP Records got ahold of her career. Unlike her three most recent albums of "easy listening" music, which see her talents as a jazz singer and pianist well hidden, this album swings! Unlike the overly-breathy sultriness of recent efforts, her singing style here is strong and effortless, reminiscent of Shirley Horn or Rosemary Clooney. Her playing, even at this early stage of her career, is melodic and complementary to her vocal phrasing. I owned the original release when it came out in '93, and just bought this remastered edition, which is well worth it. The sound quality was already just fine, but this new version is better yet, with increased detail and soundstage. Best of all, there is a bonus track, which was omitted from the original release, and is a real treat for a longtime Diana fan. After the disappointing schmaltz of Love Scenes and The Look of Love, it was exhilarating to hear a new track of Ms. Krall singing and swinging again!!

Come Dream W/Me
Come Dream W/Me
Price: CDN$ 22.99
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely, but is it JAZZ??, Aug. 26 2001
This review is from: Come Dream W/Me (Audio CD)
I bought this disc a few weeks ago, based on some of the "buzz" surrounding her in the media, especially comparisons to Diana Krall (who's one of my favourites). The selection of songs is great, the lineup of musicians is top-notch, the production values are excellent, and miss Monheit's voice is certainly beautiful. Nonetheless, I am baffled as to how this CD classifies as JAZZ. Just because she has Jazz players backing her up doesn't make this a jazz record any more than Sting's "Nothing Like the Sun" was, just because it had Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland, and Jeff Watts playing on it. The Amazon "people also bought..." screen lists such artists as Diana Reeves, Karrin Allyson, Shirley Horne, and Terrence Blanchard as points of comparison, but while she may cover some of the same "standards" as these artists, stylistically her approach to these songs is very different. Her vocal style bears more similarities to a "cabaret" style such as Patricia Callaghan or Ute Lemper than to jazz singers such as Shirley Horne. As Duke Ellington said, "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing". Monheit's voice is very pretty; this is a good album, and I enjoy it, but I don't really think it's a JAZZ recording.

You Were Here
You Were Here
Price: CDN$ 14.04
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.44

5.0 out of 5 stars WHY don't you own this CD yet??, Aug. 13 2001
This review is from: You Were Here (Audio CD)
I have had this disc for about a year now, and I still listen to it as much as the first week I bought it (how many CD's can you say that about?). Originally it was the critical praise that got my attention (top 10 of the year in TIME magazine and the NY Times), but the proof is in the music; the first time I played it I was hooked! If you read the reviews on this site you'll notice that nearly everyone mentions different songs as their favourite; -that's how strong the songwriting is on this disc -there isn't a single bad song! There are a half-dozen songs that I could easily say are my favourite. The instrumentation is just right: a variety of instruments, perfectly complementing the vocals. Sarah's voice is heaven; just hearing it makes my day. The highest praise I can give this album is this: I own a few hundred CD's, and if I was forced to choose just 10 albums to live with the rest of my life, this would be one of them! Buy this CD! You won't be disappointed!

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