VARIOUS ARTISTS: AT&T Presents Stormy Weather (1998) – Unreleased Live Album w/Stevie Nicks, Bjork, Gwen Stefani, Joni Mitchell & others

stormyfrontAT&T Presents Stormy Weather (1998)
Brilliant Unreleased Live Album

This one’s a personal favorite that I occasionally move up to the top, just because it’s obscure enough that people rarely seek it out. Recorded live with a full orchestra at the Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles, Stormy Weather features the 90s top female performers singing lavishly arranged torch songs. Sure, the idea of Gwen Stefani, Sheryl Crow and Bjork taking a live stab at the works of Gershwin, Van Heusen and… Costello?, could be a recipe for disaster. And, the fact that this music was never commercially released might suggest exactly that. (It was mailed out free to potential AT&T customers.) But, somehow… against all the odds, this one hits all its marks. Eagle Don Henley’s pin-drop perfect production, a program of cliche-free material, Mark Isham’s fine trumpet work and some stunning vocal performances combine to make Stormy Weather a late night, laid back groove. Highlights include Stefani’s confident reading of Elvis Costello’s Wee Small Hours homage, “Almost Blue,” stormybackPaula Cole’s gorgeous “You’ve Changed” (putting even Natalie Cole, the program’s standard torch-bearer, on notice) and Sandra Bernhard’s show-stealing cover of Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” Full of lush atmosphere and a respectful dignity no listener has any right to expect from this bunch, Stormy Weather is that rare idea that looks bad on paper, but somehow ends up smelling like a rose. A barely known rarity, and used ones go for under a buck @ Amazon, HERE.

Gwen Stefani – Almost Blue
Paula Cole – You’ve Changed
Shawn Colvin – But Beautiful
Trisha Yearwood – Good Guy
Sandra Bernhard – Is That All There Is?
Sheryl Crow – Good Morning Heartache
Natalie Cole – They Can’t Take That Away From Me
Stevie Nicks – At Last
Bjork – Gloomy Sunday
Joni Mitchell – Stormy Weather

6 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    June 20, 2011 - 11:47 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    dogbreath
    April 4, 2012 - 04:29 | Permalink

    Can see / hear why this is a fave. Great re-up of a fab line-up.

    • 3
      Willard
      April 4, 2012 - 07:56 | Permalink

      Admittedly, part of the reason I like this is that it came in the mail, out of the blue, and was never officially released. But, the sound is incredible and some of the performances are pretty daring, considering some of the names involved. And… it’s a great late night listen if you like this sort of thing.

      • 4
        Anonymous
        November 17, 2012 - 14:23 | Permalink

        Same here. Year’s ago I got this random this CD in the mailbox. I thought it was some sort of crappy freebie thing. Man, was I wrong. It’s one of my favorites. I have always loved jazz standards and cocktail jazz. This CD is a true gem.

        • 5
          Willard
          November 17, 2012 - 14:26 | Permalink

          It was such a surprise.

          • 6
            Anonymous
            December 5, 2013 - 19:48 | Permalink

            This is not my kind of music at all, but I absolutely love it. Anyone who loves music should listen

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