Marlene VerPlanck – A Warmer Place (2013)

Marlene VerPlanck - A Warmer Place (2013)
Artist: Marlene VerPlanck
Album: A Warmer Place
Label: Audiophile
Year Of Release: 2013
Format: FLAC (tracks)
01. In the Still of the Night
02. Then I’d Be Tired of You
03. They Can’t Take That Away from Me
04. My Heart Stood Still
05. Not a Moment Too Soon
06. For You, For Me, For Evermore
07. You Know What?
08. When He Makes Magic
09. Petite Suite
10. Oh, You Crazy Moon
11. Medley: Day by Day/Day by Day
12. I Used to Be Color Blind
13. Sing
14. Old Devil Moon
15. Two for the Road
16. I’ve Got You to Lean On
17. The Touch of Your Lips
18. Looking for a Boy
19. Isn’t This a Lovely Day?
20. I Walk with Music
21. South to a Warmer Place


Marlene Ver Planck paid tribute to the great American songbook. Ver Planck, who grew up in Newark, NJ, listening to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald on WNEW radio, collaborated throughout her long career with her husband, arranger, composer, and conductor Billy Ver Planck. Her 2000 CD, My Impetuous Heart (DRG), her 17th album, reunited her with some old friends, including jazz pianist Hank Jones and special guests jazz pianists George Shearing and Marian McPartland and guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. Ver Planck’s career was a long string of success stories, which showcased her as a versatile singer with a gorgeous, pliable voice that knew how to tell a story.

She started singing at age 19. Her career stretched back to the ’50s when she worked with Tex Beneke and Charlie Spivak. Her first big break came in 1955 when she teamed up with pianist Hank Jones, flutist Herbie Mann, trumpeter Joe Wilder, bassist Wendell Marshall, and drummer Kenny Clarke on I Think of You with Every Breath I Take on Savoy Records. She met her husband while performing with Charlie Spivak’s band, then both moved over to the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. Tommy Dorsey died in 1956, so the Ver Plancks decided to stay in New York City to pursue studio work with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Kiss. Millions of people outside the jazz world first heard Ver Planck’s voice, though, doing jingles in the ’60s : “Weekends were made for Michelob/Yeah!” and “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should!” and “Mmm good/mm-mm good/that’s what Campbell’s Soups are/mm mm good.” After thousands of commercial jingles and hours and hours of studio session work in New York, the Ver Plancks decided to settle down in their house in Clifton, NJ, and began performing and recording together.

Their first recording together was A Breath of Fresh Air, arranged, produced, and conducted by Billy Ver Planck in 1968. In 1976, Marlene Ver Planck hooked up with North Carolina-based composer/pianist Loonis McGlohon, who hired her to do two installments of a radio show he co-hosted called Alec Wilder’s American Popular Song. Afterwards, she recorded Marlene Ver Planck Sings Alec Wilder, and later, after Wilder’s death, she appeared on the radio show The American Popular Singers, co-hosted by McGlohon and opera singer Eileen Farrell. Ver Planck performed at Carnegie Hall, Michael’s Pub, and the Rainbow Room in New York City. She appeared on Entertainment Tonight, The Today Show, and CBS’s Sunday Morning. In The Digital Mood, featuring Ver Planck, Mel Torme, and Julius La Rosa with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, became the first big band CD to go gold in the ’90s. Ver Planck planned to record again in late 2001 in tribute to her love for the music of Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Cole Porter.

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