My Ship - Songs from 1941
Release Date: December 10, 2021
UPC Code: 880956211121
Selection #: ZM 202111
1. Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) 3:29
Davis, Ramirez, Sherman
2. Let’s Get Away From It All / How About You 3:21 Dennis, Adair, Lane, Freed
3. Skylark 4:18 Carmichael, Mercer
4. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy / Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree / Hut Sut Song 2:42
Raye, Prince, Brown, Stept, Tobias, Killion, McMichael, Owens
5. Why Don’t We Do This More Often? 2:37
6. Chattanooga Choo Choo 2:55
7. Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don't Tease Me) / I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) 8:11 Ellington, Gaines, Webster
8. Blues In The Night Arlen, Mercer 3:16
9. Baby Mine (from Dumbo) 2:49
|10. The Saga Of Jenny (From Lady In The Dark)3:50 Weill, Ira Gershwin
11. My Ship (From Lady In The Dark) 3:51 Weill, Ira Gershwin
12. At Last Gordon, Warren 2:57
13. White Christmas Berlin 2:33
14. (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs Of Dover Kent, Burton 3:50
Dawn Derow - vocals
Paul Rolnick - producer
Ian Herman - piano, music director
Tom Hubbard - bass
Daniel Glass - drums, percussion
Paul “Dale” Woodiel
Katarzyna Bryla - viola
Deborah Assael - cello
Sean Harkness - guitar
Benny Benack III - trumpet & cornet
Aaron Heick - saxophone, flute & clarinet
Dan Levine - trombone
World War II is so far behind us that almost every living link to it is gone. But in her acclaimed cabaret show, My Ship: Songs from 1941, and in this album of its music, Dawn Derowa smart, sexy, expressive and vocally polished woman of todayevokes that year as vividly as if it were happening now. You’ll be plunged into a time of massive upheaval and all its colliding emotionsthe wistfulness, the loss, the giddy escapism that music could bring.
Directed by the acclaimed cabaret singer Jeff Harnar, My Ship, which premiered in 2017, earned MAC Awards (from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) for both her and Harnar.
The show is, in part, a tribute to the performers who kept hopes high until victory was ours. Dawn recalls the sassy swing of Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, the Andrews Sisters’ hosanna to a trumpet god who did double duty in the military. She conjures up the torchy yearning of Billie Holiday, whose Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?) spoke for a country full of women left alone. Dinah Shore, the G.I.’s favorite singing sweetheart, comes to mind as Dawn sings one of Shore’s early trademarks, Skylark, with lullaby tenderness. In Dawn’s hands, Chattanooga Choo Choo is a come-hither invitation to loosen your tie and stay awhile.
Why Don’t We Do This More Often? was a hit for the grinning, professorial bandleader Kay Kyser and his two wholesome songbirds, Ginny Simms and Harry Babbitt. Dawn’s version is as cozy as a goodnight kiss. Teamed with Aaron Heick on clarinet, she makes a jam session out of Let’s Get Away from It All, a double-sided hit for Tommy Dorsey and his legendary flock of singers: Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, and Jo’s fellow Pied Pipers.
From Walt Disney’s Dumbo comes Baby Mine, a lullaby. Dawn and her pianist/music director, Ian Herman, go it alone. Then she unleashes the wrath of a woman spurned in Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen’s Blues in the Night, which was all over the 1941 charts in five hit versions.
In 1960, Etta James took a dreamy Glenn Miller hit, At Last, and added R&B licks that singers have been borrowing ever since. Dawn’s arrangement nods to both eras. She turns Duke Ellington’s Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don’t Tease Me) into two a.m. pillow talk. “To me,” she says, “that’s the 1941 broad who is having an affair with a married man. As the song changes to I Got It Bad (and That Ain’t Good), in my mind he puts his wedding ring back on and goes home to his wife.”
From across the pond comes (There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover, a song with which Britain’s Vera Lynn (and, in the States, Kate Smith) consoled the war-torn masses. In White Christmas, Dawn sings about the longing for home that made Bing Crosby’s recording so precious to the men at war.
Turning her attention to Broadway, Dawn finds the wacky wit in The Saga of Jenny from Lady in the Dark, the Kurt Weill-Ira Gershwin Broadway musical about a career woman’s misadventures in the land of psychoanalysis. From the same show comes this album’s title song My Ship, a daydream about a love that no treasure on earth can equal. Dawn connects with its bittersweet ache.
Ian Herman leads a formidable rhythm section: bassist Tom Hubbard and drummer Daniel Glass. Horn players Benny Benack III, Dan Levine, Aaron Heick, guitarist Sean Harkness, and a string quintet round out the ensemble. With their help, Dawn gives these classic songs new meaning.
- James Gavin
My Ship Songs from 1941 conceived by Dawn Derow, Barry Levitt & Jeff Harnar ©2017.
Recorded by: David Stoller at Samurai Hotel Studios, Astoria, NY on February 20 and September 29, 2020.
Produced and mixed, with additional vocal engineering, by: Paul Rolnick at Zevely Recording, New York, NY.
Strings & Horns recorded by: Zach Grappone at Dubway Studios on March 25th and April 1st, 2021.
Photo: Matt Baker.
Mastered by: Alan Silverman at Arf! Digital, New York, NY.
Executive Producers: John Williams, Derow Enterprises Inc., Joachim “Jochen” Becker.
Arrangements by: Ian Herman & Barry Levitt.
Orchestrations by: Tom Kochan (tracks: 1-4, 6, 10 & 12) & Blake Allen (tracks: 5, 11, 14).
Publishing: Universal-McA Music Publishing Div. of Universal Music Corp. (1); Dorsey Brothers Music a Div of Music Sales Corporation, EMI Feist Catalog Inc (2); WB Music Corp. o/b/o the Johnny Mercer Foundation and Songs of Peer, Ltd. (3); Songwriters Guild of America o/b/o A4v Digital, Inc. and Universal-McA Music Publis o/b/o Universal McA Music Publ., EMI Robbins Catalog Inc. and WB Music Corp o/b/o Ched Music Corp., Hill and Range Songs (4); Music Sales Corp. (5); EMI Feist Catalog Inc. (6, 12); SONY/ATV Harmony and EMI Robbins Catalog Inc., Webster Music Corp. (7); WB Music Corp. (8); Bourne Co.(9); Chappell & Co. and Hampshire House Publ. (10); WB Music Corp o/b/o Ira Gershwin Music and Hampshire House Publ. (11); Irving Berlin Music Co. (13); Shapiro Bernstein & Co., Walter Kent Music (14).