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Who's Brian Gershwin?

  • Aug 24, 2010

A sobering and unexpected question from a co-worker when I mentioned the imminent release of this titanic pairing of recognized masters - hoping against hope that the potential downside and inflated expectations of "reimagining" such a well known and respected canon of Gershwin classics would be avoided. Well, generational amnesia not withstanding, Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin is a really good (almost great) recording that builds-out on the strengths of Wilson's nonpareil gifts as an arranger and producer while deftly compensating for his understandably diminished vocal capacity.

Wilson's Gershwin is a beautiful, fully realized soundscape that deserves uninterrupted and repeated listening. What Wilson summons is an America before surfboards and Elvis when music was the province of melody, nuance and a full spectrum of emotions beyond anger. This is a gorgeous (and wonderfully flawed) record that may get a Grammy nod on sentimentality alone - but just might deserve it even if you have never heard of Brian Wilson or the Gershwin brothers.

Highly recommended.

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August 24, 2010
Fantastic review. I'm compelled to listen to it. Thanks for sharing this!
More Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershw... reviews
review by . August 19, 2010
posted in Music Matters
Amazing arrangements and exquisite harmonies ...this album just blew me away!
Just got my pre-ordered copy of "Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin" in the mail. This is a release I have been looking forward to with great anticipation.  I figured that given the significance of this undertaking and the potential criticism that it might induce the album was either going to fall flat on its face or be simply sensational. I spent the better part of last evening listening to this disc and I am very pleased to report that Brian Wilson has done it again.  "Brian …
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Michael Neiss ()
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About this album


Brian Wilson is not reuniting with his Beach Boys bandmates, as was erroneously reported by some press outlets last month. But the genius behind Pet Sounds has announced his latest project: Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.

Make no mistake, however - it's no ordinary covers album. What will undoubtedly make this record a must-have for music lovers of all stripes is that the estate of George Gershwin enlisted Wilson to complete unfinished music that the late composer had left behind when he died in 1937.

The resulting album, due out 16 August (17 August in the US), features two songs that are now de facto Gershwin-Wilson collaborations: The Like in I Love You and Nothing But Love. Head over to Brian Wilson's website and you can hear The Like in I Love You. (Take it from us, the combination of Wilson's heavenly vocals with the wondrous, sweeping nature of Gershwin's timeless melodic lines is a thing of rare beauty.)

Elsewhere on the album, Wilson has his way with beloved Gershwin standards like Summertime, I've Got Rhythm, They Can't Take That Away From Me, Someone To Watch Over Me - my goodness, they're all classics! And if that weren't all, the record opens and closes Rhapsody In Blue, sung a capella by Wilson. (That alone makes the set worth buying!)

In a statement, Wilson said, "Along with Irving Berlin, Gershwin basically invented the popular song, but he did something more. He had a gift for melody that nobody has ever equaled, ...

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Genre: Great American Songbook
Release Date: August 17, 2010

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