Cheryl Anne Roach / All the Things You Are Review - ChristianMusic.com
MISSION / GOAL:
"God gives each of us gifts—gifts that we are to use to glorify Him and to be used for uplifting His Kingdom and spreading the Word. This is what I believe and why I sing. My first CD, In the Mornin,’ was a recording of songs of faith. This recording is of songs to lift people’s spirits by the joy and love conveyed in the songs." -
Cheryl Anne Roach
This collection of 26 songs, found on ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE, were created by talented American composers and lyricists from the first half of the 2Oth century, who used their musical and lyrical gifts to create them, using the versatile instrument, the piano. These special selections, which were recorded at Cheryl Anne Roach's concert at the George Nakano Cultural Arts Theatre, were chosen by Cheryl Anne Roach from a huge collection of 200 songs.
Cheryl Anne explains their origin, "This music is very special to me. I have very strong memories of sitting at the grand piano in the living room of my family’s home in Dallas, playing and singing all these songs by the hour, plus hundreds more. (This piano is now in my living room in Hermosa Beach, California.) There was a pile of music about three feet high, which I still have, and I would just go from one song to another. Until recently, I haven’t had the opportunity to perform these songs in public. Singing them was purely for my own pleasure, and any friends and family who happened to be in my living room."
"When I began the selection process for which songs to include, it was overwhelming because I love--really love--so many. I started with around 200 songs, and kept narrowing it down to the 26 that are on the recording."
In order to appreciate what a treasure this collection of songs is to the listener and how wonderfully these songs are presented musically by Cheryl Anne Roach, which truly do lift and encourage the spirit, the reader should first get acquainted with these talented composers and their songs which meant so much to so many people, and still offer so much to present day generations.
lovingly presented on ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE.....
(Recorded at a concert at the George Nakano Torrance Theatre.)
Jerome Kern (1885 – 1945): A gifted pianist and composer, known mainly for his musical theatre and film work. Because of his characteristic use of "rich harmonies" throughout his musical repertoire, many of his songs have been adapted by the jazz community. He was a master of romantic melodies, creating timeless tunes which are memorable, sometime haunting, and always musically interesting. Pairing up with talented lyricists, such as Ira Gershwin, Oscar Hammerstein 11 and Dorothy Fields provided the perfect lyrics for each of his songs.
Selections: “Long Ago and Far Away (lyrics by Ira
Gershwin)” (1944), COVER
GIRL (Film musical}
Irving Berlin (1888-1989): Son of Jewish Russian immigrants, who was a brilliant lyricist and even composed his own melodies in one key, F#, (using the black keys). Self-taught and motivated, is considered the most famous American classic songwriter. Was responsible for 3,000 songs over his long life span, which saw personal heart ache; (early death of father, first wife and an infant son, 2nd marriage family woes) WW1, the depression, WW2, etc. Early works were written for general music revues on Broadway. He also composed 17 film scores and 21 Broadway scores. As he didn't read music, he dictated the bulk of his tunes to his long time, musical secretary, Helmy Kresa. His song, GOD BLESS AMERICA was sung by the Congress after the attack on 911.
Selections: “I Love a Piano” (1915) - (Transcribed
by Cliff Hess)
Cole Porter (1891 – 1964): He is described as a songwriter with "a wit and sophistication rarely heard." His most successful years on Broadway were during the 1930's. His music shined in such musical theatre gems as THE NEW YORKERS, GAY DIVORCE and ANYTHING GOES. Despite his tragic riding accident which crushed his legs, Porter continued to write and compose music for both the stage and Hollywood. Other big hits include, LEAVE IT TO ME, KISS ME KATE; (won a Tony for Best Musical & a Tony for Best Composer and Lyricist) and two Fred Astaire films, "Broadway Melody of 1940" and "You'll Never Get Rich."
Selections: “You Do Something to Me” (1929)
-FIFTY MILLION FRENCHMEN (1929)
Gershwin (1898 – 1937): Also
a son in a immigrant musical Russian family. For
his 38 years of life, George Gershwin, a brilliant, inspiring show tune, jazz
and modern classical music composer, left his legacy in some truly glorious songs
and compositions. His musical talent on the piano became obvious early in his
life. At the age of 19, his ragtime piece, Rialto Ripples" was very popular. First
big national hit was his song, "Swanee," in 1919. Some of his other
well-known work are the opera, PORGY AND BESS, and the classical masterpiece,
for piano and orchestra, "Rhapsody in Blue."
Selections: “Our Love Is Here to Stay”
(words by brother Ira Gershwin) (1937),
The Goldwyn Follies Movie.
Richard Rodgers (1902 – 1979) & Lorenz Hart (1895 – 1943): Rodgers and Hart teamed up to write songs for more than 30 musicals (mostly comedies), 1919-1943. Rodgers was known for composing poignant, effective, irresistible melodies and Hart was known for his "smart, touching and sophisticated lyrics." Together, they raised the musical standards for the musical theatre of their time. In their songs, there was always an element of "wistfulness and sadness, co-mingled with expressing the joy of being in love," etc.
After Hart died from his alcoholism, Rodgers teamed up with lyricist Oscar Hammerstein 11, and created the wonderful melodies for a series of wildly successful musicals in the '40's and '50's, such as OKLAHOMA, THE KING AND I; and THE SOUND of MUSIC, to name a few. They earned thirty-four Tony Awards; fifteen Academy Awards; two Pulitzer Prizes; and two Grammies.
Selections- Lorenz Hart & Richard Rodgers: “Johnny One Note” (1937). Comical
look at turning limitations into a positive result.
Harold Arlen (1905 – 1986): Considered to be one of the greatest American 20th century pop music composers, who wrote music for around 400 songs. In 1930's wrote songs with lyricist Ted Koehler for shows at Harlem's Cotton Club. Arlen also composed music for Broadway musicals and Hollywood films. A characteristic that one finds In Harold Arlen's songs are elements of blues, making them popular with jazz singers.
Selections:“Accentuate the Positive,” lyricist
Johnny Mercer (1944), released as a record.
Cheryl Anne shares with ChristianMusic.com, "The last group of songs are songs that I love and had to include. They are by composers who may not have written as many songs as the previous composers, or whose names are not as well-known, but whose songs are equally wonderful."
Fisher, Joe Goodwin and Larry Shay (1928):“When
You’re Smiling,” recorded
by 100 different artists. The ultimate positive-thinking
song which many people hung onto during the depression era.
McHugh (1895 – 1969): “It’s a Most Unusual Day,”
lyrics by Harold Adamson (1948)
A DATE WITH JUDY film
REVIEW OF ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE
What an uplifting, encouraging, romantic collection of songs, presented in wonderful musical compositions!! The cuts on this album not only inspire the listener to remember and appreciate what is loved and cherished about a spouse or significant other, but also encourages the listener with some wise advice on how to face the inevitable troubles in life, making the best of our talents and limitations, appreciating the blessings we do have! These values and attitudes about cherishing a loved one, and looking at life, come from older generations of people who survived two World Wars, a depression, epidemics and hard times, and offer hope from the power of love and positive thinking to persevere through difficult situations, and work on relationships, by remembering the positive qualities of one's partner.
Cheryl Anne Roach shares, "In my performances of these songs, I often go to various types of senior residences. I love sharing this great music with those who were young when these songs were written. I am often told by listeners that they remember dancing to the tunes, or where they were when they first heard a certain song, or even that one of the songs was “their song.”
While these songs mean a lot to the older generation, they also are relevant to newer generations as well. Their sentiments and lyrical messages are timeless, because human needs and nature haven't changed, and the difficulties and stresses of real life still effect relationships and are ever with us.
We can benefit from the loving inspiration from these songs which encourage one to remember those loving feelings experienced at the beginning of a relationship and why love grew in the first place, bringing to mind all those positive, wonderful qualities of a person who now shares the toothpaste! This can be a great antidote to the dour and crabby feelings one may feel about any annoying behaviors of spouses / significant others which tend to bubble up to the surface sometimes in a marriage / or relationship! (Love covers a multitude of sins!)
1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps not record of wrongs. It always, protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Furthermore, the definitions of love stated in 1 Corinthians 13 are then easier to put into practice with a loving positive attitude, putting self second to one's beloved, kindling the reciprocation of love, kindness, and thoughtfulness, and maybe even the willingness to work on annoying habits and behaviors, in the spirit of putting oneself second!!
The following variety of songs, which range from lively to dramatically poignant to anthem-like, are wonderfully romantic, perfect to inspire and nurture relationships. Musically, they offer a variety of interesting melodies, musical compositions and tempos to fit perfectly with the various lyrics and moods established by the composers.
Songs about Being in Love:
in Love - IT'S A MOST UNUSUAL DAY * DO
IT AGAIN * LONG AGO AND
FAR AWAY * NIGHT and DAY
Qualities of the beloved - ALL THE THINGS YOU ARE * THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT
* THE MAN I LOVE
Having True Commitment -
ALWAYS * HOW
DEEP IS THE OCEAN * OUR LOVE IS HERE TO STAY * MORE
THAN YOU KNOW * IT HAD TO BE YOU
Remorse of a broken heart - IT NEVER ENTERED MY MIND * WHAT’LL I DO
The upbeat, positive delightfully different songs listed below offer encouragement and advise on how to approach life, which often strains relationships themselves. Attitudes affect our perceptions of the problems which enter our lives.
Making the Best of it and Being Positive....
Making good use of gifts: JOHNNY ONE NOTE * I LOVE THE PIANO
Being thankful for blessings: I GOT RHYTHM * IT’S A MOST UNUSUAL DAY
an optimistic positive outlook: WHEN
YOU’RE SMILING * BLUE SKIES * LOOK FOR THE SILVER LINING
Keeping hope alive: SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW (Wizard of OZ)
Many of these songs I have heard parts of during my own childhood and growing up years, but it is a real blessing to be able to hear the wonderful lyrics, the refrains and the piano compositions in such a delightful, inspiring, professional, musical presentation, courtesy of Cheryl Anne Roach. Her wonderfully dynamic, poignant vocals and her considerable skills at expressing the spirit and life of each of these 26 compositions through her piano playing are not to be missed, as her love of this music shines through!
For Cheryl Anne Roach is an accomplished, enormously talented, versatile pianist and an experienced professional mezzo-soprano, with an open heart for the Lord and insightful musical instincts, which together have brought to life the music of each composer and lyricist. The combination of Cheryl's inspiring expressive vocals, and her wonderful piano renditions of these truly fabulous musical treasures, provide a powerful presentation of these songs by the masters of yesteryear for a whole new generation of listeners.
A great pianist and vocalist not only plays the notes and sings on key, but can actually sense, think and express the musical essence of each composition in his or her repertoire. Cheryl has this gift in spades, using just the right piano technique & presence, paired with the perfect vocal dynamics and style. She has the power and coordination in her hands to play Berlin, Gershwin and Arlen, the delicate, soft touch to play Rodgers, Kern & Porter, and the dramatic instincts to fully express the emotion and musical nuances in all the songs presented.
While she is playing the piano so effectively, she can also give powerful to poignant vocal performances at the same time! She truly offers an inspiring, uplifting musical presentation with clear tones, great diction, an impressive vocal range, stellar breath control, all with feeling and joy which comes from the spirit and soul.
Cheryl Anne shares with ChristianMusic.com how these composers and their lyrics inspired her performance, and how the Lord uses her abilities for the blessing of others.
Wow!!!! What an inspirational album which is highly recommended by this reviewer. It is a MUST for married people, and for people involved in a relationship!! For it is the perfect musical inspiration to pop in your CD player or computer to uplift and bolster your resolve, renew a positive attitude and spirit and / or kindle a loving attitude toward a spouse or significant other.
More about Cheryl Anne Roach.............................
Cheryl Anne's considerable musical gifts and the ability to perform appeared at an early age. She began piano lessons as a precocious 5 year old, which was the beginning of her great love of the piano, singing and music. I can see her sitting at the piano in her family's Dallas, Texas home, practicing her music lesson, happily singing the words which were printed in her music lesson for that week!
Cheryl Anne played any music she could get her hands on as she grew up. She also loved to sing. She would play and sing in the living room for family and friends, much to their delight. She not only had the talent, but also had the heart and will to share her gifts with others.
Her church was very important in her musical development. Her school experiences were also good training for her future service in music, using her gifts to let the music and the Lord speak through her.
It wasn't until her under graduate years that she began to study voice. While she was a piano performance major at the University of Illinois, she minored in voice. However, when she went to graduate school to earn her Masters in Piano Performance, she began a serious study of voice.
Reviewed by Julie Carr for ChristianMusic.com
Sources: ChristianMusic.com Interview, CD insert, Cheryl Anne Roach Promotional Materials