IBJOpinion

LOU'S VIEWS: Sandi Patty, Carrie Newcomer and more from the CD shelf

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Lou Harry
Assorted music CDs (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

Thanksgiving, for many, is road-trip time—which also makes it a good time to give a listen to the latest discs from Indiana performers. Here’s a stack I’ve taken pleasure in over the past month.

Known for her top-of-the-gospel-charts song stylings and stints as occasional hostess of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Yuletide Celebration, Sandi Patty clearly has a passion for Broadway music along with her bread-and-butter sacred tunes. The origins of her latest disc, “Broadway Stories,” can be traced back to a “Sandi Patty’s Broadway” program with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. And while she isn’t Yuletiding with the ISO this season, Patty will be back in January for a concert version of “Hello, Dolly!”

There’s no denying Patty’s vocal power. She’s got it, ably handling the technical challenges of a “Swingin’ Love” medley and having fun with a set of songs she’d never sing in a show (including “Get Me to the Church on Time”). But whether the disc goes into frequent rotation in the CD players of Broadway buffs depends on one’s tolerance for Patty’s over-the-top finishes, particularly on “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Be warned: There’s a whole field of lilies being gilded here.

That being said, Patty’s “Edelweiss” seems to have a genuine sense of place, her “All Of Me” (true, the song has nothing to do with theater) pops with Jack Everly-conducted panache, and I’ll admit to getting a kick out of a song I never thought I’d hear Patty singing—the creepy “Willkommen” from “Cabaret.”

Also in the category of eyebrow-raising singer/song match-ups: crooner Michael Feinstein and the mating-after-an-atomic-bomb novelty tune “Thirteen Women.”

Feinstein, artistic director of the Center for the Performing Arts, is in terrific voice here, but he may be accused of misrepresentation by calling his latest disc “The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life” since most of the songs were not originally popularized by old blue eyes. But there’s a definite Sinatra style to the selection of songs. Not the sophisticated, oft-celebrated Sinatra of the ’40s and ’50s, but the chauvinist-and-so-what Sinatra that came later—the era where he seemed to change,

temporarily, from a vital, contemporary artist into a purveyor of “dad music.”

Joyfully and shamelessly digging into “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” and a pairing of “Luck Be a Lady”/“All I Need is the Girl” backed by a dynamic 30-piece orchestra, Feinstein may well win more converts with this one—if they are willing to bypass the silly, decidedly un-cool photos surrounding the liner notes. Sinatra would have shown a little more restraint.

A more original indication of an artist influenced by fellow artists comes courtesy of Carrie Newcomer, whose latest disc “Everything is Everywhere” beautifully incorporates Indian influences into her distinct folk singer/songwriter style.

The resulting set honors her collaborators (Amjad Ali Khan, Amaan Alik Khan and Ayann Alid Khan) while never denying her roots or coming across as an awkward attempt at crossing over. This is clearly a Carrie Newcomer disc—comfortable alongside the best of her work, including “Betty’s Diner” and “My Father’s Only Son”—while showing clear signs that she’s a talent who still has a lot she wants to learn.

With the beautifully crafted, sweetly sung title song finding its true fighting weight at nearly six minutes and everything else in the set clocking in at over four minutes, the disc feels both meditative and confident. At this stage in her career, it may be easier to just do more of the same. I’m glad to hear that Newcomer is still making discoveries. And I anticipate listening to this one repeatedly while also looking forward to where her journey next takes her.

Tim Grimm, who has collaborated with Newcomer in the past, pays tribute on his latest disc to another folk influence. “Thank You, Tom Paxton” makes a gentle case for the title singer/songwriter, who never quite garnered the attention of Bob Dylan, the notoriety of Phil Ochs, or the catchy cult status of Arlo Guthrie.

Even some of the once-better-known Paxton songs—“Bottle of Wine” and “Ramblin’ Boy” (both ignored on this disc)—might not generate much singing-along at a concert these days. But Paxton’s largely low-key tunes clearly had an influence on Grimm. He and a group of solid musicians, including Jason Wilber, Krista Detor and the White Lightning Boys, don’t attempt to overly transform such Paxton tunes as the melancholy “The Last Thing on My Mind”; the antic, bluegrass “General Custer”; or the charming baseball song “My Favorite Spring.” Instead, they respectfully give each tune a gentle freshening, playing up Paxton’s talents even if never quite inspiring a revisit to the original work.

Finally, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra go on record with a double disc recording of Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah.” I’m not going to pretend to offer a detailed critique of the music—I’ve only given the set a single listen on a car stereo—but all involved in this 2007 live recording from Clowes Hall come across well, including popular local tenor Steven Stolen and soprano Kathleen Hacker, chairwoman of the Musical Department of the University of Indianapolis.

Happy listening.•

__________

This column appears weekly. Send information on upcoming arts and entertainment events to lharry@ibj.com.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Here are a few candidates for this new group, "ripped from the headlines." First up, that bizzaro State Senator Brent Waltz; secondly, the unethical Todd Huston, and his contractual arrangements scheme; Finally, but not least of all, the dishonorable Eric Turner. What sayeth you Greg Zoeller?

  2. Good day. I can't hide this great testimony that take place in my life I will love everyone to know it and be partaker that is why I always place it on answer, I am Mrs,Natalie Cuttaia by name, I live in Texas, United State Of America, I want to thank (Mr.Bruce Brandon) for his kindness upon my family life. I never knew that there is still nice lender like this on internet and earth here. Just some Months Back, I was in search for a loan of $100,000,00 as I was running out of money for feeding and rent. I was scammed $6,800 Dollars and I decided not to involve my self in such business again but a Friend of my introduced me to a loan firm due to my appearance and doings. And I told him that I am not interested of any loan deal anymore but he told me that there is still a nice lender who he will recommend me to, and I made a trial and I am most grateful lucky am I today, I was given a loan amount of $100,000.00usd, by this great Company (Bruce Brandon Loan Company) managed by (Mr.Bruce Brandon) If you are in need of a genuine or legit loan or financial assistance and you can be reliable and trusted of capable of paying back at the due time of the funds I will advice you to, contact him via: ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com ) And you will be free from scams in the internet. All thanks to Mr.Bruce Brandon You are the one who remove me and my family out of poverty. The reason why i am doing this is that, i promise Mr.Bruce Brandon that if i truly got my loan, i will advertize his company and bring customers to his company. Contact him via ( bruce.brandon071@gmail.com )for the Loan you have been looking for..

  3. Hello, We are firm Organization formed to help people in needs of helps,such as financial help. So if you are going through financial difficulty or you are in any financial mess,and you need funds to start up your own business,or you need loan to settle your debt or pay off your bills,start a nice business, or you are finding it hard to obtain capital loan from local banks,contact us today via email mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com So do not let these opportunity pass you by because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever more. Please these is for serious minded and God fearing People. Your Name: Loan Amount: Loan Duration: Valid Cell Phone Number: Thanks for your understanding to your contact as we Await Regards Management Email:mrsroseberrywilkinsfunds.usa@gmail.com

  4. The question is, where could they build a new stadium? It seems in the past year, all the prime spots have been spoken for with potential projects. Maybe in the industrial wasteland area a block past Lucas Oil? I think it needs to be close to the core, if a new stadium is built.

  5. Aldi is generally a great shopping experience. Still, I'm sure YOU wouldn't want to shop there, which I consider a positive.

ADVERTISEMENT