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Review - Liza's Back (CD-2002)
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Listen to the MP3 (5:26) 3.7 mb

 

Liza’s Back (CD-2002)

J Records

Reviewed by Dennis Kwiatkowski

 

Liza’s Back, the new album by Liza Minnelli of her comeback concert at the Beacon Theatre in New York has been one of the year’s most anticipated albums. Miss Minnelli, film star, vocalist and legendary performer, has not had an easy time of it in recent years.  In the mid 1990’s, she had operations on both of her hips and knees which severely curtailed her celebrated dancing ability.  In 1997, shortly after substituting for Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria, she developed polyps on her vocal cords and was completely unable to sing for years.

 

Added to this were problems with weight gain, alcoholism, substance addiction and a near-fatal bout with viral encephalitis.  In fact, less than two years ago, after narrowly escaping death, doctors told Minnelli that she would never talk, walk or sing again!

 

The doctors underestimated the resiliant daughter of legendary performer Judy Garland.  Minnelli marshaled her strength, underwent extensive physical therapy, lost over 80 pounds and worked hard to recover her singing voice.  She was aided in this by producer David Gest who she later married in a highly publicized wedding earlier this year.

 

So how is the new CD of her concert?  The album is one of the most listenable and successful concert CD’s in recent memory and it captures all the excitement of a live performance!  Minnelli’s voice is occasionally rough, but it is, at times, the equal of all it ever has been.  And, her recent training enables her to hit certain notes for the first time.  Revisiting some of her song hits from decades past is daring, yet Minnelli brings them to life in fresh, often definitive performances. 

 

The CD also contains many new songs—brilliantly performed—and showstopper after showstopper.  The years have given Miss Minnelli increased interpretive artistry and enhanced phrasing and musicality.  There is even a tribute to her mother’s famous signature song—Over the Rainbow.  Here are more excerpts of Liza’s Back:

 

                                                [PLAY clips]

 

With her new album of her concert at New York’s Beacon Theatre, Liza Minnelli triumphs and leaves no doubt that, indeed, Liza’s back!

 

 

2002 Dennis Kwiatkowski/Celluloid Dreams

 

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