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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful musical love letter to London, 5 Sep 2011
By 
G.C. (St. Louis, MO, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: London Pride (Audio CD)
Writing from an American perspective, this is a terrific "musical mystery tour" of London from Catherine Bott and David Owen Norris, who are both excellent throughout. As Bott writes in her notes, she tried to steer away from the generic "Good old London town" type of song, to focus on particular locations in London. Thus most of the choices were relatively unfamiliar to me, besides the obvious choices of "A foggy day in London town" and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square". In addition to his piano playing, Norris contributes vocally, duetting with Bott in "A Room in Bloomsbury" and acting as the umpire in "Wimbledon Idyll". He even gets to go solo vocally in my own favorite song on the album, "Mayfair Merry-Go Round", which is sort of the spirit of Sondheim's "The Ladies Who Lunch" about the vagaries of the idle class, but in a more sprightly vein.

By the way, the last song, Noel Coward's "London Pride", initially reminded me of Lerner and Loewe's "Wouldn't it be loverly?" from "My Fair Lady". However, Coward acknowledged that he based "London Pride" on the old London cry "Won't You Buy My Sweet-Smelling Lavender", so it may well be that Lerner and Loewe used the same source for their own song for Eliza Doolittle in the musical.

Also, there's one error in the liner notes on the songs: the dates for Manning Sherwin are given incorrectly as "1940-2000", whereas they should be 1902-1974 (or possibly 1898-1974). But don't let that get in the way of a terrific album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Varied repertiore shows off a most versatile voice, 6 Oct 2009
By 
David B "Piano David" (GOUROCK, Renfrewshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: London Pride (Audio CD)
The very varied repertoire on this most interesting and enjoyable compilation of songs on a London theme allows Ms. Bott to demonstrate fantastic versatility in singing styles. Her diction is wonderful, every word clear, and she enters into the spirit of every piece, in repertoire from a wide timescale.

There is something of a social history in the lyrics of these songs, which overall adds up to quite a picture of London life in all its glory and tribulations over the years. I particularly enjoy the lovely musical setting of Betjeman's poem Business Girls, a sad and wistful poem which captures post-war austerity and the lives of women in a time with a dearth of eligible males. The realisation of Joyce Grenfell's long and delicious Joyful Noise is charming, and again it's a piece which has a certain wistful beauty and social commentary about it.

David Owen Norris's piano accompnaiment (and voocal contributions in certain numbers) are super and at all times fitting. The old Steinway piano in the club venue rather sounds its age, but it's well in tune.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC!!!!, 10 May 2004
This review is from: London Pride (Audio CD)
Singers and music fans of the world: this is a masterclass of entonation, pronounciation and mood in favour of the music.
I am a great fan of Ms Bott's work as an early music singer but this copilation about London - where I'm leaving now - just translates everything about music in this wonderfull city and its problems too ... the best album I've bought recently.
Buy it and you will not regreat! Ms Bott's voice is as beautifull as ever and the pianist - David Owen Norris- is as just as amazing.
Such things like that do not show up easily. TERRIFIC.
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London Pride
London Pride by William Boyce (Audio CD - 2004)
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