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The Carlyle Set by Christine Andreas

Christine Andreas is a veteran Broadway singer and actress with a voice that is big and bold. The Carlyle Set is a studio recreation of what it sounded like when she took her talents from the big stage to the smaller one of the Cafe Carlyle in New York. The set is made up mainly of numbers from musicals and movies with a few wild cards like a cinematic reading of Mary Chapin Carpenter's "What if We Went to Italy" thrown in for good measure. More Barbara or Bernadette than Anita or Billie, Christine Andreas will have more appeal for fans of the Great White Way than those of the smoky jazz club.

The Carlyle Set shows that you can take the girl off of Broadway, but you can't take the Broadway out of the girl. Backed by a quartet of bass, drums, keyboards and reeds, the arrangements nonetheless sound as if Andreas is fronting a small pit orchestra rather than an intimate jazz combo. "Autumn in New York," for example, is given a boisterous, up-tempo reading that, while valid, is very different than the lyrical and nuanced ballad version favored by Frank Sinatra and other artists working in more of a jazz setting. The band plays well, in particular reedman Lou Marini. But the music is just a little too busy to highlight anyone much other than Ms. Andreas.

A peek at the track list on The Carlyle Set suggests a date of mostly jazz standards, but the set is really more a collection of show tunes. They are the same songs, of course, but there are philosophical and methodological differences between the two. Whatever you want to call it, it's a good selection of songs well played.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Christine Andreas
  • CD Title: The Carlyle Set
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Varese Records
  • Rating: Two Stars
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