Saturday, 6 August 2016

CD Review: Jane Krakowski – The Laziest Gal in Town (2010)

“I’m not gonna holler, cos I’ve still got a dollar"

For someone so active on stage and screen in so many musical ways, it’s a little surprising that Jane Krakowski hasn’t delved more into releasing albums of her own. Her debut, and to date only, solo album was 2010’s The Laziest Gal in Town, a club show recorded live at Feinstein's at the Regency Hotel. It’s a hugely enjoyable listen and very much of its moment rather than an absolute classic cabaret album, but that’s no bad thing really.

The focus is on her undoubted comic skills and hip-to-the-moment references, as evidenced by the rewrite of Rodgers and Hart’s ‘Zip’ by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman renamed ‘Tweet’, and a cheeky rap inserted into ‘Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend’ – personality for days shining through. The multiple spoken interludes also add into the informality – to wit, a confession of her predilection for British men leading into a sprightly ‘An Englishman Needs Time’.

At the same time, the moments of pure musical showmanship leave you in no doubt of how talented a singer Krakowski is, longing perhaps for more of these classier numbers. A swinging take on Ella Fitzgerald’s ‘When I Get Low, I Get High’ is brilliantly done as the first half of a drug-inspired duo, ‘I’m Old-Fashioned’ similarly shines and there’s a spine-tingling version of ‘Let's Face the Music and Dance’ that shimmers with graceful restraint. 

That would have made a great finale but naturally, there’s an encore in which Sesame Street’s ‘Rubber Duckie’ lightens the mood once again. That Krakowski leaves us wanting more is absolutely fine, it’s just we’ve been waiting for six years now!


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