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Color, Rhythm and Magic by Earl Rose

Tracksounds Rating = 8/10

Color, Rhythm and Magic by Earl Rose  from Amazon.com

Arranged, Produced, Performed by Earl Rose
Performed by Jesse Levy, Jay, Leionhart, James Saporito
Released by Varese Sarabande, March 2000

Track Title Time Rating The Jazzic Kingdom
by Christopher Coleman

When I first received this CD I had much apprehension.  What sort of appalling rehashes of some of Disney’s most popular tunes would I be experiencing here?  Just who is Earl Rose and who are his un-named friends?  Why in the world would Varese Sarabande bother with such a release?

Well, my questions were answered within the first notes of track 1!  Color, Rhythm, and Magic is musical montage of memorable Disney themes all performed by a small jazz quartet - who really aren't unnamed.  Pianist Earl Rose is also the album's arranger and co-producer, Jesse Levy is on the cello, Jay Leonhart plays bass, and James Saporito on drums.  Together they fit and play tightly together while maintaining the looseness that all great jazz bands do. The CD as a whole is easily en par with the likes of a Dave Brubeck or Dave Grusin and at other times is not too far from the charm of a Vince Guaraldi piece for The Peanuts.  The style is simple yet very satisfying. 

One might not expect songs such as “Go the Distance,” which I have never been to fond of until now, “Colors of the Wind,” or especially “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” to make good jazz pieces, but the arrangements of these songs are among the best of the CD- a tribute to the performing and arranging talents of Earl Rose.

Several tracks feature a dynamic performance by cellist, Jesse Levy.  His performances in Color of the Wind (Pocohantas), Bella Notte (Lady and the Tramp), and Someday (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) add a subtle dose of melancholy and help to really ground the quartet’s performances.

The performances range from sprite and lively as heard in Under the Sea to the seriously romantic Beauty and the Beast.  Earl Rose and his friends along with co-producer have certainly delivered a fine musical experience with Color, Rhythm, and Magic.  Through such releases the case for film music being “the most versatile of all” is strengthened.  If you are in need of a break from your mainstay score collection, Color, Rhythm, and Magic will certainly provide a meaningful diversion.  My suggestion: Get in your car, grab your gal, pop in this CD, and head up the coast or the nearest scenic route…and make sure to hit the “repeat” button!

From the Liner Notes

The songs are now classics...a new set of standards.  They have been performed, arranged, and reperformed countless times overrthe years.  To create this special collection of some of our favorites, pianist and composer Earl Rose assembled a few of his friends.  Earl spent weeks and months alone at the piano exploring these songs.  All music and jazz in particular, lives and dies by the performance.  As you will hear, the recording sessions for this CD were indeed full of glorious color, rhythm, galore and copious amounts of the special Disney magic. - Robert Townson 

1 Go the Distance (Hercules) 3:48 *****
2 A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Snow White) 3:37 ****
3 Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (The Lion King) 5:49 ****
4 A Whole New World (Aladdin) 3:28 ***
5 Colors of the Wind (Pocahantas) 3:40 *****
6 Under the Sea (The Little Mermaid) 3:35 ****
7 Bella Notte (Lady and the Tramp) 3:35 ****
8 Someday My Prince Will Come (Snow White) 3:25 ***
9 Someday (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) 4:30 ***
10 The Second Star to the Right (Peter Pan) 3:56 ****
11 Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast) 4:22 ***
12 Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah (Song of the South) 3:57 ****
13 When You Wish Upon a Star (Pinocchio) 7:32 *****
  Total Playing Time 55:30    

Category

Score

 
 Originality 9  

Music Selection

9  

Themes/ Composition

9  

CD Length

8  

Track Order

10  

Performance

9  

Final Score

9  
         
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Arranger/ Pianist
Earl Rose

Color, Rhythm and Magic by Earl Rose
 Sound Clip

 
  Go the Distance (Hercules) 

Color, Rhythm and Magic by Earl Rose

 

All artwork from Color, Rhythm, and Magic is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande Records (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.