Broadway First Take Vol. 2

(Slider Music - 2000)

Recording Credits: Restored recordings from original acetate recordings.

from Allmusic:

The second volume of Slider Music's series of albums devoted to demo recordings of show tunes makes more clear than the first one that the material has been assembled from copies of the recordings maintained by Rose Marie Jun, who seems to have had a lengthy career as a Broadway session singer. Jun is not the only singer heard here, but she is a constant in tracks that span nearly 25 years, from 1958's Flower Drum Song to 1983's La Cage Aux Folles. The demos were made scant months before the Broadway openings of the shows and were intended to be circulated within the record industry to attract cover versions and, potentially, outside hits that would help the shows become successful. In most cases, they are piano demos, but the pianists are sometimes the composers -- Burt Bacharach sits at the keys for all ten selections from Promises, Promises and even pipes up in the backing vocals, and Richard Rodgers plays a solo version of "Sunday" from Flower Drum Song. The singers, led by the remarkably versatile Jun, focus more on diction and intonation than interpretation, though they sometimes give a little of the flavor of a particular pop singer. For example, Kenny Karen suggests Tom Jones on "Upstairs" from Promises, Promises. Of particular interest to show music fans will be the cut songs. There are three from Promises, Promises, all of them first-rate Bacharach-David compositions, especially the torchy ballad "What Am I Doing Here," which easily can be imagined being sung by Dionne Warwick or Dusty Springfield, though it is effectively performed here by Jun. Another excellent cut song is "My Best Love" from Flower Drum Song, and even among the songs that were used, there are altered lyrics that will make these renditions interesting to theater buffs.