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Bill Murray / Jan Vogler

New Worlds

New Worlds

UPC: 028948168415

Format: LP

Regular price $41.95
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This thoroughly offbeat release arose as the result of a chance meeting in 2013 between comic actor Bill Murray and cellist Jan Vogler, and it has the kind of spontaneity that background might imply. Some will buy it on the strength of Murray's name, and you might sample sheer vaudevillian joy of his version of "It Ain't Necessarily So": it's worth the purchase price all by itself. Murray's Jeanie with Light Brown Hair...maybe not so much. But the attraction of the album is not the musical value of Murray's singing or Vogler's cello, but rather the variety of the program. Murray reads Walt Whitman and James Fenimore Cooper and Mark Twain, not to mention James Thurber, with classical chamber pieces as background, or solo. He's actually quite an effective reader, achieving a vernacular American tone without a hint of cornball. He sings. Vogler plays instrumental pieces. The Thurber is framed by Ravel's "Blues" movement from his Violin Sonata in G major, not so much because of a perceived similarity in attitude, but because the phrasing works in the organization of the piece. Henry Mancini's Moon River breaks off for almost 15 minutes of Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, far longer than any of the other literary excerpts on the album, and for no very good reason. This damages the balance of the program as a whole, but it fits the program's lively spirit. As you might expect from Murray, it's a great deal of fun. ~ James Manheim