The description of the performers included on the jazzy album I’m Glad There Is You reads something like the program for an off-Broadway musical revue. There’s an Academy Award nominee and the daughter of an Academy Award nominee, among others, along with extensive lists of previous accomplishments (musical and otherwise) for each artist. The leader of the group, though, is the titular Corky Hale, well-known in the jazz world, though relatively obscure outside to the world at large, as Peter M. Stoller laments in the liner notes, claiming that “In a world more just, more enlightened, everyone would know Corky Hale.” This may well be the case, and though this album is an impressive collection of 11 romantically styled familiar tunes, it’s not likely to rocket her or her cohorts into the musical mainstream.

Hale describes the album as “an album of the most sentimental romantic songs that I could find, with five of the most romantic singers I know.” Her tagline for the album is “Put this CD on late at night with someone you love.” It’s an appropriate tagline for an album consisting of lovely covers of Burt Bacharach, Ira Gershwin, and Rodgers & Hart songs. Hale provides titillating harp and piano throughout the album as well as vocals on three of the tracks. Bringing in five additional singers for the album is an interesting choice considering that Hale displays her own musical ability in these three tracks, particularly in the playful “Like Someone In Love.” The choice is a good one, though. Hale may have the chops to deliver solid performances for an entire album but it’s refreshing – and more interesting – to hear an array of vocalizations, while Hale strums her harp in the background.

Each vocalist brings her own talent and personality to her selection (or selections – three of the women perform two songs each) while Hale’s harp provides the consistency to remind us why these songs are all included on the same album. There’s something relaxing and refreshing about the stripped-down production of the album. Each song prominently accents the vocalist rather than the music, allowing these impressive songstresses to show their talent. But for all its beauty and elegance, this is ultimately feels like an album of background music – something gentle to play quietly during a dinner party. To this purpose, Cork Hale and produce Jeff Lass have released a beautiful, if not thoroughly captivating, collection of American jazz favorites.

Zach’s Rating: B
Perfect For: As Hale says, “Put this CD on late at night with someone you love.”
Stay Away if: You’re looking for new and original music

To purchase I’m Glad There Is You, visit Amazon or cdbaby
For more information on Corky Hale, visit her homepage

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