May 2000 Film Music CD Reviews Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

index page/monthly listings/May/


Jason HOWARD Make Believe: The Hollywood Baritones   SILVA SCREEN RECORDS SILKD 6022 (71:15)


Knowing as I do that there are a large number of admirers of Hollywood musicals from the 1950s (not forgetting Look for the Silver Lining made in 1949 and also included here) it could be argued that perhaps I'm the wrong man to talk about this particular CD. The problem is that try as I might, I just didn't enjoy this collection of what are generally considered to be classic songs.

Apart from anything else, the nineteen tracks seem to almost merge into one long show-tune without appearing to offer (at least to my ears) much in the way of variety. Admittedly the material to some extent dictates that these pieces have a certain overall stylistic similarity and if you go in with a fondness for such music then you're sure to be thoroughly entertained. But for me, apart from one or two standards like I Only Have Eyes for You and You'll Never Walk Alone, I found it all fairly hard going.

With songs taken from such highly regarded films as Oklahoma, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Annie Get Your Gun and Carousel among others, familiarity was certainly a major consideration when the selections were made and at first glance this would appear to provide value for money, at least for the casual fan of this kind of work. Even so, I can't really imagine many serious aficionados being persuaded to rush out and purchase what is really a rather generic collection. Perhaps a few bolder song choices would have been a better strategy.

Which really leaves us with only the vocal talents of Jason Howard as the main selling point (along with a couple of duets with Jill Washington and Ria Jones). Mr. Howard is a Welsh baritone who has wide operatic and musical stage experience and has been building a reasonably avid following for himself over the last few years. Perhaps his acclaimed voice and `matinee-idol good looks' will be enough to win over some new fans with this offering. Unfortunately though, this particular listener will not be one of them.


Mark Hockley


Mark Hockley


Reviews from previous months

You can purchase CDs, tickets and musician's accessories and Save around 22% with these retailers :

Concert and Show tickets 

Musicians accessories
Click here to visit

Return to Index