Seth MacFarlane once again dips into the Great American Songbook with Great Songs From Stage and Screen, coming Aug. 28 via Republic Records/Verve Records.
The crooner’s five previous studio albums have earned him three Grammy nominations for best traditional pop vocal album and all landed within the top 10 on Billboard’s Traditional Jazz Albums chart.
Like a number of his past efforts, the new album is a reimagining of songs by some of America’s most revered composers, including Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Lerner & Loewe and Henry Mancini. The lead track from the set is the James Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn gem “Let’s Not Be Sensible.”
The Family Guy creator and American Dad! co-creator, director and actor turned to songs that fans may not be as familiar with for his latest collection. “A ‘standard’ always implies a song of specific distinction, or one that’s been performed countless times by many different artists,” he tells Billboard. “To me, the real challenge and reward comes from digging beyond those tunes, and looking for lesser-known, untouched gems from the great composers and lyricists that may have fallen through the cracks for one reason or another. Those are the songs that are the most fun to record, and that well is almost bottomless.”
MacFarlane recorded the album at London’s legendary Abbey Road studios with renowned jazz musicians Chuck Berghofer (bass), Peter Erskine (drums), Larry Koonse (guitar), Dan Higgins (alto sax) and Tom Ranier (piano), as well as composer/producer Joel McNeely and composer Bruce Broughton, who arranged the lush orchestrations. Broughton’s “signature vibrance and sophisticated orchestral texturing is a perfect match for this collection of show-centric swing arrangements and ballads,” MacFarlane explains.
These songs have soothed souls through the decades and MacFarlane hopes they provide a balm during the pandemic. “Great songwriting presented with great orchestration is always uplifting,” he says. “Hopefully these tunes offer, if nothing else, a little mood boost during a dark time.”
Great Songs From Stage And Screen Tracklisting:
1. Once Upon A Dream
2. I Loved You Once In Silence
3. Let’s Not Be Sensible
4. Ten Minutes Ago
5. Ain’t Got A Dime To My Name (Ho Ho Ho Ho Hum)
6. Love Is Only Love
7. What Did I Have That I Don’t Have?
8. Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
9. Two For The Road
10. All Er Nothin’
11. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To
12. Mind If I Make Love To You
13. Time For Parting