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Barry Manilow|This Is My Town: Songs Of New York

This Is My Town: Songs Of New York

Barry Manilow

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Barry Manilow has busied himself with concept albums since 2004's Scores: Songs from Copacabana and Harmony but This Is My Town: Songs of New York may be the best of the batch. It helps that the idea -- songs from his hometown of New York City -- is clearly defined, less amorphous than his salutes to the decades, and not as mawkish as My Dream Duets, his last album. Manilow isn't ready to leave behind the electronic duets that drove that record -- he cobbles together a virtual duet with Mel Tormé on "The Brooklyn Bridge" -- but that's merely an accent on a record that finds Manilow offering a musical tour of the five boroughs. Naturally, there's an element of cheese here -- it's evident not only on the goofy "Coney Island" but in how he interpolates Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" -- but that's part of his charm: he's always happy to smile along with his audience, offering a show with his song. And, crucially, This Is My Town: Songs of New York progresses like a cabaret show, opening with the keynote title track, sliding into a slow number four cuts in ("Lonely Town"), playing with the collective memory of the audience via covers of the Drifters, and then ending with a rousing medley. Perhaps the production is a touch too clean, but Manilow's panache and expert song selection compensate for such polish: this feels not like an exercise, but a record he believes in and, after a decade of affable nostalgia, that's really welcome.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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This Is My Town: Songs Of New York

Barry Manilow

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1
This Is My Town
00:02:59

Dean Parks, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Baxter, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Sussman, ComposerLyricist - Joe Stone, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Derouin, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gregg Bissonette, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Morrison, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sal Lozano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Grant, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Cipriano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Darius Campo, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Liane Mautner, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Cecilia Tsan, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Klintworth, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Armen Ksajikian, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Don Shelton, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Moussas, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Clark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Benson, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Dondlinger, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dae Bennett, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Gray, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Morillas, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Craig Gosnell, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ina Veli, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Driskill, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Tina Soule, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Doug Walter, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Julie Berghofer, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Atkinson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Parkman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Rosato, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jenny Takamatsu, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
New York City Rhythm / On Broadway (Medley)
00:03:59

Greg Phillinganes, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Baxter, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Marty Panzer, ComposerLyricist - Joe Stone, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Dante, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Derouin, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Barry Mann, ComposerLyricist - Jerry Leiber, ComposerLyricist - Mike Stoller, ComposerLyricist - John Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Weil, ComposerLyricist - Mike Lang, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Jackson Jr., Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Morrison, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Will Lee, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sal Lozano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Crenshaw, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Grant, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Cipriano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Darius Campo, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Liane Mautner, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alma Fernandez, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Cecilia Tsan, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Klintworth, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Armen Ksajikian, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Brophy, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Don Shelton, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Moussas, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Clark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Dondlinger, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Fletcher Sheridan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Gray, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Morillas, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Craig Gosnell, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ina Veli, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Driskill, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Luke Mauer, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Tina Soule, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Bassinson, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Atkinson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Parkman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jenny Takamatsu, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Coney Island
00:03:03

Ron Dante, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Crenshaw, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Michael Lloyd, Producer, Mixer, Co-Arranger, Drums, Engineer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Associate Producer

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Lonely Town
00:05:01

Steve Baxter, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Derouin, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Fox, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Bernstein, ComposerLyricist - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Randy Kerber, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Morrison, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Higgins, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Neel Hammond, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Grant, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Adolph Green, ComposerLyricist - Betty Comden, ComposerLyricist - Rodney Wirtz, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vibraphone, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Klintworth, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Marisa Kuney, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - John Walz, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Armen Ksajikian, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Brophy, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Bob McChesney, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Sheppard, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Don Shelton, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Radu Pieptea, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Clark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Dondlinger, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nina Evtuhov, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Gregg Field, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ira Glansbeek, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Gray, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Schaer, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Glen Berger, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ina Veli, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Luke Mauer, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Walter, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Julie Berghofer, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Atkinson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Stever, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Devitt, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Neal Samples, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Lovin' At Birdland
00:03:29

Dean Parks, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Don Sebesky, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gregg Bissonette, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Emil Richards, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Sal Lozano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Cipriano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Adrienne Anderson, ComposerLyricist - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Glen Berger, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Driskill, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Walter, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Rosato, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Downtown / Uptown (Medley)
00:03:21

Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Greg Phillinganes, Synthesizer, Digital Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Baxter, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Stone, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Dante, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Derouin, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Barry Mann, ComposerLyricist - Cynthia Weil, ComposerLyricist - TONY HATCH, ComposerLyricist - Ralph Morrison, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sal Lozano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Crenshaw, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Grant, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Jackson, Jr., Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Cipriano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Darius Campo, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Liane Mautner, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alma Fernandez, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Cecilia Tsan, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Klintworth, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Armen Ksajikian, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Brophy, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Michael Lloyd, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Don Shelton, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Moussas, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Clark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lisa Dondlinger, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Fletcher Sheridan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Gray, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Morillas, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Craig Gosnell, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ina Veli, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Driskill, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Luke Mauer, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Tina Soule, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Doug Walter, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Julie Berghofer, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Atkinson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Parkman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jenny Takamatsu, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
On The Roof
00:03:22

Barry Manilow, Producer, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Ken Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
I Dig New York
00:02:51

Don Sebesky, String Arranger, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Sussman, ComposerLyricist - Jim Fox, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gregg Bissonette, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Emil Richards, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Sal Lozano, Flute, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gene Cipriano, Flute, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Driskill, Flute, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Ron Walters Jr., String Arranger, Conductor/Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Rosato, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
The Brooklyn Bridge
00:02:42

Jim Fox, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Jule Styne, ComposerLyricist - Mike Lang, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Mel TORME, Vocals, FeaturedArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Sammy Cahn, ComposerLyricist - Greg Bissonette, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Emil Richards, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Sal Lozano, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - David Benson, Producer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Doug Walter, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Rosato, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

10
NYC Medley
00:06:57

Alicia Keys, ComposerLyricist - Harvey Mason, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Shawn Carter, ComposerLyricist - Janet Sewell, ComposerLyricist - Greg Phillinganes, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Sandy Linzer, ComposerLyricist - Dean Parks, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Steve Baxter, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Sylvia Robinson, ComposerLyricist - Nathan East, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Denny Randell, ComposerLyricist - Bert Keyes, ComposerLyricist - Charles B. Lawlor, ComposerLyricist - Joe Stone, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Ron Dante, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Matt Funes, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Derouin, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Fox, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Bernstein, ComposerLyricist - Bruce Botnick, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - BILL SCHNEE, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - John Robinson, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Kerber, Vibraphone, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Lang, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - William Blake, ComposerLyricist - Richard Rodgers, ComposerLyricist - Lorenz Hart, ComposerLyricist - Paul Jackson Jr., Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gregg Bissonette, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ralph Morrison, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Higgins, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - BILLY JOEL, ComposerLyricist - Neel Hammond, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Sara Parkins, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - John Kander, ComposerLyricist - Fred Ebb, ComposerLyricist - Sal Lozano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Wayne Bergeron, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Randy Crenshaw, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berghofer, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Grant, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Burton Lane, ComposerLyricist - Adolph Green, ComposerLyricist - Betty Comden, ComposerLyricist - Ralph Freed, ComposerLyricist - Gene Cipriano, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Rodney Wirtz, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Barry Manilow, Producer, Co-Arranger, Engineer, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Darius Campo, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Liane Mautner, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Alma Fernandez, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Cecilia Tsan, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Kevin Connolly, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Klintworth, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Marisa Kuney, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy Loo, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - John Walz, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Armen Ksajikian, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Brophy, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Bob McChesney, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Sheppard, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Don Shelton, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Cynthia Moussas, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Neil Samples, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Radu Pieptea, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - A. Hunte, ComposerLyricist - Ron Clark, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - David Benson, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Alexander Shuckburgh, ComposerLyricist - Lisa Dondlinger, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Nina Evtuhov, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Gregg Field, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ira Glansbeek, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Dan Fornero, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Fletcher Sheridan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Chandler Harrod, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Chris Gray, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Rob Schaer, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Glen Berger, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Charlie Morillas, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ken Berry, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Craig Gosnell, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Ina Veli, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Driskill, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Luke Mauer, Viola, AssociatedPerformer - Marc Hulett, Producer, Associate Producer - Greg Bartheld, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Associate Producer, StudioPersonnel - Tina Soule, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Doug Walter, Bells, Vibraphone, Clarinet/Director, AssociatedPerformer - Julie Berghofer, Harp, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Atkinson, French Horn, AssociatedPerformer - Dave Ryan, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Wiliam Lee, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Joel Parkman, Violin, AssociatedPerformer - Frank Rosato, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nolan Bateman, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mike Stever, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Ben Devitt, Trombone, AssociatedPerformer - Vince Trombetta III, Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Jenny Takamatsu, Violin, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2017 Verve Label Group, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album Description

Barry Manilow has busied himself with concept albums since 2004's Scores: Songs from Copacabana and Harmony but This Is My Town: Songs of New York may be the best of the batch. It helps that the idea -- songs from his hometown of New York City -- is clearly defined, less amorphous than his salutes to the decades, and not as mawkish as My Dream Duets, his last album. Manilow isn't ready to leave behind the electronic duets that drove that record -- he cobbles together a virtual duet with Mel Tormé on "The Brooklyn Bridge" -- but that's merely an accent on a record that finds Manilow offering a musical tour of the five boroughs. Naturally, there's an element of cheese here -- it's evident not only on the goofy "Coney Island" but in how he interpolates Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" -- but that's part of his charm: he's always happy to smile along with his audience, offering a show with his song. And, crucially, This Is My Town: Songs of New York progresses like a cabaret show, opening with the keynote title track, sliding into a slow number four cuts in ("Lonely Town"), playing with the collective memory of the audience via covers of the Drifters, and then ending with a rousing medley. Perhaps the production is a touch too clean, but Manilow's panache and expert song selection compensate for such polish: this feels not like an exercise, but a record he believes in and, after a decade of affable nostalgia, that's really welcome.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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