Easy Come, Easy Go –The Music of Johnny Green
November 5, 2014
Reviewed by Steve Murray for Cabaret Scenes
Linda Kosut likes a good project. Her last CD, Long As You’re Living, was a tribute to Oscar Brown Jr., where she immersed herself in his music, poetry and life to bring the man to a whole new audience. Similarly, Kosut delves into the music of composer Johnny Green with equal fervor. Known famously for “Body and Soul,” written with lyricist Edward Heyman, the song remains just as popular as it was 84 years ago. After three years of work and on 17 tracks, Kosut delivers a heartfelt homage to one of America’s finest composers and conductors.
She covers his popular hits, like “I Cover the Waterfront” (Heyman), “I Wanna Be Loved” (Heyman and Billy Rose), as well as the title track. Produced and arranged by the Great American Songbook wizard Mike Greensill (who also provides piano accompaniment), the music wraps around Kosut’s warm alto, harkening back to the golden era of female vocalists like Libby Holman, Ethel Merman and Gertrude Lawrence, all for whom Green wrote and arranged.
“‘Am I in Another World” (Ted Koehler), “The Turntable Song” (Leo Robin) and “Hello My Lover, Goodbye’’(Heyman) display Green’s considerable composition skills. Kosut gets to swing, sink her teeth into some ballads and brings the listener back to the very beginnings of the Great American Songbook.
The recording also features Tom Shader (bass), Alan Hall (drums) and Jeremy Cohen (violin).