We produced Maxine Sullivan’s collections of popular music by three ranking American songwriters from Broadway and Hollywood: Harold Arlen, Burton Lane and Jule Styne. The Styne disc, recorded in sessions held from June 1986 to January 1987, represents Maxine’s final studio work.
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We produced Maxine Sullivan’s collections of popular music by three ranking American songwriters from Broadway and Hollywood: Harold Arlen, Burton Lane and Jule Styne. The Styne disc, recorded in sessions held from June 1986 to January 1987, represents Maxine’s final studio work. Our collaboration with this luminous jazz singer could not have been more fulfilling. In late 1985, John S. Wilson noted in The New York Times that, at 74, Maxine was developing a new “vocal and emotional openness.” That attitude led to her adventuresome eagerness to tackle songs unlike any in her repertoire. Witness, on this album, her tough, bluesy “Talking to Yourself,” the back-room belt she chooses for “It’s Been a Long, Long Time,” her witty inventions in the title track and “Papa, Won’t You Dance with Me?,” and the depth and vulnerability she expresses in “Killing Time,” a song we proposed to her, never dreaming she would respond to its very contemporary musings.
But even more than the exhilaration that came with Maxine’s experimenting (she and Keith literally danced through the control room during the playback of “Papa”), what we’ll miss most is the sense she always projected of jazz as family. We remember an afternoon recording date when the sidemen arrived on time, but the singer was tardy. Hers was no star entrance, however. When she finally walked in, a pixie in blue windbreaker, gray jumpsuit, sneakers, and baseball cap, Maxine announced she was late because the subway was late. She tossed off a quick “How are you guys?”; she had worked with these musicians countless times. And Al Klink answered her query, “Fine, Max, now that you’re at the helm.” We felt the same way.
– July 1987
|2||Just in Time|
|3||Saturday Night (Is the Loneliest Night of the Week)|
|4||Dance Only with Me|
|5||It’s Been a Long, Long Time|
|6||I Don’t Want to Walk Without You|
|7||Bye Bye Baby|
|9||Talking to Yourself|
|10||Papa, Won’t You Dance with Me?|
|11||Things We Did Last Summer|
|12||I’ve Heard That Song Before|
|13||You Say You Care|
|15||Together Wherever We Go|