Several weeks ago while previewing the upcoming new CD releases on Amazon I spotted an album that really intrigued me. It was Emmy Rossum's "Sentimental Journey". The concept behind this disc was that each of the 12 tunes would reflect either lyrically or emotionally one of the twelve months of the year. Frankly, I had never heard of Emmy Rossum so I had absolutely no idea what to expect. This was no aging rock star trying to hang on for dear life. Rather, this appeared to be a gifted young singer who had a passion for this kind of music. Why else would a major label like Warner Brothers release a disc like this? So I took the plunge and ordered it. After savoring "Sentimental Journey" multiple times last evening you can count me an instant fan. This is a truly remarkable recording.
Although I was familiar with The Andrews Sisters very fine version of "(I'll Be With You In) Apple Blossom Time I had no idea that this tune first hit the charts way back in 1920. Emmy Rossum has a special place in her heart for this one as her mom used to sing it her as a bedtime lullaby when she was a young child. Emmy does an outstanding job with this number and makes it all her own. Perhaps my favorite number on the album is "The Object of My Affection" which was a #1 hit for The Boswell Sisters in 1935. Emmy's rendition of this classic tune just might be the best version of this song that I have ever heard. Other selections included from the Great American Songbook are Bessie Smith's Depression-era standard "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", "All I Do Is Dream of You" from the mid 1930's, a really cool arrangement of "I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" and of course the title track "Sentimental Journey". Damn good stuff! Other notable songs on the album are "Many Tears Ago" which was a huge hit for Connie Francis in 1960 and a very different take on Johnny Mercer's "Summer Wind" which had been a hit for Sinatra in 1966. I thought Emmy's version was outstanding!
While I was playing "Sentimental Journey" my wife came into the room and wanted to know who the singer was. When I said Emmy Rossum she was as clueless as I was. Since we don't go to the movies very much we had no idea that she has appeared in a number of feature films including "Songcatcher" and "Phantom of the Opera". We were also unaware that Emmy had been in the Children's Chorus of New York's famed Metropolitan Opera. I was also quite surprised to discover that "Sentimental Journey" was only the second album recorded by this incredibly gifted young singer and her first in nearly seven years. I mentioned to my wife that as far as I was concerned this young lady possessed talent on a par with Barbra Streisand.
On her website Emmy Rossum talked about her new album. She explained: "I wanted the album to have an old fashioned authenticity, which is why I got a bunch of musicians together, put them in one room and said `Okay, we're going to do this in three days,'" she says "I love the sound of 1920's records, like the Bessie Smith I grew up listening to, which is why we mastered to tape. We were flying by the seat of our pants but it all worked out." It sure did! Emmy Rossum is very wise for her 26 years. For me, listening to "Sentimental Journey" proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience. This is one disc I will enjoy again and again. And when the 2013 Grammy's are handed out I fully expect "Sentimental Journey" to be among the winners. Outstanding in every way! Very highly recommended!
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