Bruce Von Stiers
About three years ago I reviewed the great album, Taking A Chance on Love, by Linda Purl. She put her own stamp on songs from Jobim, Anthony Newley and Jimmy Van Heusen.
This year finds Linda with a new album. Like the one I just mentioned, this album is full of Linda's rendition of several standards. The title of this new album is This Could Be The Start.
You have probably seen Linda on television. She played Richie's girlfriend and then Fonzie's fiancé on Happy Days. Linda also played Andy Griffith's daughter in Matlock. Along the way, she has appeared in over forty made-for-TV films. In addition to film and television work, Linda has also appeared on Broadway and starred in numerous regional performances of top musical theater productions.
Linda brought forth the same group of musicians from that previous album to help on this album. Ray Marchica was on drums and percussion. Nelson Rangell was on reeds, David Finck was on bass and Tedd Firth was on piano. Marchica previously backed vocals by Liza Minelli and Bernadette Peters among others. Rangel can be heard on a lot of other artists' albums ,including a favorite band of mine, The Rippingtons. Among the vocalists that Firth has worked with include Melissa Errico and Lucie Arnaz. Aside from assisting other artists, Finck records his own albums, including Basically Jazz, which I reviewed a few years ago.
The first song is This Could Be The Start of Something Big. This Steve Allen song has been recorded by Count Basie, Aretha Franklin, Judy Garland, and many others. Linda does a great job on this song, hitting the closing just right.
The Jimmy McHugh classic, I'm In The Mood For Love, is next. It was smooth and easy, with a great piano-led bridge.
Next was another McHugh classic, Let's Get Lost. It was nicely done, with a bridge that featured piano, bass and drum solos.
Blue Moon has been recorded by a whole legion of vocalists. Not to be confused with The Marcels song Blue Moon, this Rogers and Hart tune is a soft and gentle love song, which is well done here. In this rendition, Linda mixes the composition of the song with a bit of nontraditional styling.
Cole Porter's Dream Dancing and Cy Coleman's Let Me Down Easy are sung with just the right inflection.
Linda does a superb job with two Stephen Sondheim songs, Live Alone And Like It and Not While I'm Around.
Then there is a pleasant rendition of the Carla Bley song, Lawns, although it was listed with the sub-title first, Two Hearts.
Many artists from Imelda May to Emmylou Harris have sung How High Is The Moon. It was well done here, especially the closing stanza.
Then there is a toe-tapping, smile effecting rendition of Love Being Here With You. There is some great sax in the song.
The album closes with a soft and gentle song, Wrap Your Troubles (In Dreams).
With this album, Linda Purl continues to prove her worth as a singer of great standards. As much as I've enjoyed Linda as an actor, I equally enjoy her as a vocalist.
By the time you read this, This Could Be The Start should be available. You will find the album at most major music retailers and streaming services.
If you want to learn more about Linda Purl, visit her official website at www.lindapurl.com .
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© 2023 Bruce E Von Stiers