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Byline: Daryl H. Miller

Michael Feinstein/"Nice Work If You Can Get It: Songs by the Gershwins"

The title of Michael Feinstein's new album - "Nice Work If You Can Get It" (Atlantic) - says it all. Feinstein has held one of the world's best jobs since he served as Ira Gershwin's personal assistant from 1977 until the lyricist's death in 1983, then went on to a singing/piano playing career spent with the music of Ira and composer brother George Gershwin, as well as many of Broadway's other classic songwriters.

Here, he revisits his old pals, the Gershwins, devoting the entire CD to their music. Of course, he sings such well-known tunes as "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Fascinatin' Rhythm" and "They Can't Take That Away From Me." But the thrill of this collection comes from six never-published songs that Feinstein has unearthed.

According to Feinstein's liner notes, Ira felt "Ask Me Again" was the best of the pair's unpublished songs. Easy to believe. It's an intoxicatingly beautiful love song, fluttering along on Cupid's wings. It's nearly matched by the ethereal "Someone Stole My Heart Away," which Feinstein sings in a soft falsetto, as if so absorbed in romance that he's only half conscious of the real world.

Feinstein tends to chew his consonants; and there's an intensely focused edge to his voice that isn't as silky as one might wish. But he's a fine interpreter of music, and as he sings these love songs, you sense he's so swept up in romance that his feet never touch the ground. Three Stars.

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PHOTO

Photo (1) The Gin Blossoms follow up their multiplatinum debut with "Congratulations I'm Sorry." (2) Michael Feinstein's latest album unearths six unpublished songs by the Gershwins. (3) Wynonna gets personal on "Revelations," her first release since 1993.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

 
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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Sound Recording Review
Date:Feb 16, 1996
Words:301
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