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May 2006

Doris Day
The Love Album
Concord Records

Twenty-nine years ago, three Hollywood sessions were spun together to shape what would eventually emerge as Doris Day’s final studio album. After an immensely lucrative, 20-year relationship with Columbia Records, Day parted with the company. With no distributor immediately at hand, the master tapes were left to gather dust for three decades. The 11 tracks, arranged and conducted with velvet care by Sid Feller, surfaced briefly in the ’90s as a British import and as part of Bear Family’s massive (and massively expensive) four-box Day retrospective. Now, thanks to Michael Feinstein, tireless savior of pop-jazz treasures teetering on extinction’s brink, this gorgeous coda to one of America’s grandest, yet most underappreciated, artists is at long last available domestically.

At the peak of her vocal powers (she was, after all, only 43 at the time), Day filled the disc with such personal favorites as “For All We Know,” “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” “Street of Dreams” and “All Alone.” Rivaling the misty beauty of the matched set of Paul Weston-led gems Day by Day and Day by Night from the mid-’50s, The Love Album isn’t just testament to the enormity of Day’s talent but also to the gentle power of her unflagging emotional honesty. As a bonus, three tracks have been added from the first of two TV specials Day headlined for CBS in the 1970s, including versions of her signature hits “Sentimental Journey” and “It’s Magic” and, most appealing, a wistful “Both Sides Now” of alabaster purity.

Originally published in May 2006
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