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Breakthrough Barbra Streisand Sings Mainstream Jazz


"I hated singing. I wanted to be an actress. But I don't think I'd have made it any other way."

— Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand the Love Inside

Listening to Barbra Streisand sing any song is pure joy. She takes singing to a level few have arrived at in their careers.

I have never seen her in concert. Something that I would like to correct. Even if I sit in the nosebleed seats, a memory I would cherish forever.


Though she is a singer, she is an actress turned filmmaker, singing songs made for her movies. As a filmmaker, her movies are unparalleled. Surprisingly, they missed the Oscar radar a couple of times. Yentl comes to mind, and The Mirror Has Two Faces. Both movies came from Barbra's heart is clear.

Based on a bestseller, she directed and starred in the Prince of Tides. It might not be as personal as the others, but she still sings.

Love Is The Answer

It surprised me when I heard that this album is her only jazz release. The one and only jazz album with Barbra singing so well.

"I never read my reviews... not even the good ones. Barbra Streisand once told me, if just one person in the audience doesn't applaud, it bothers her. I'm the same way. I'd be devastated to read that someone didn't like my work."

— Pat Conroy, Author of "The Prince of Tides"

"Love is the Answer"

Listening to Barbra Streisand sing jazz standards is not a dream. You can hear her recording if you take the time to listen to her album called Love Is the Answer. If you are a substantial Streisand fan, you know about this album. If not a fan but an admirer, this may be the first time you have ever heard she is also a jazz singer.

Streisand’s Love is the Answer arrived on the streets and radio airwaves in 2009. She sings like the songs are part of her being while performing them with a passion for jazz. “It’s a toast to life,” Barbra explained in an interview.


Barbra Streisand Live in Concert DVD

Love is the Answer followed Live In Concert 2006. Not bad for a three-year break, Barbra sings the notes and lyrics like she is on stage in a cabaret. Each song is jazzy, like an emotional dream. The depth and all maturity of her renditions are deep. It's like cherishing the first dawn reflections of past sorrows hoping for kindhearted comforts.

The jazz album opened a chance for Barbra to work with the Grammy-winning jazz pianist Diana Krall. Her quartet, consisting of bass, guitar, and drums, commands a finesse. The tenderness is delicate and understated compositions. Barbra and Diana never worked together until this project. You cannot tell because the music flows and blends.

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Grammy Winner Arranger

Barbra experienced an exclusive pleasure during the studio recording of the album. Working with celebrated song-smith and Grammy-winner arranger Johnny Mandel completed the creation. Mandel had been in the studio before with Barbra in 1993 while recording her Back to Broadway album. He worked with Diane before arranging and co-producing. The outcome was Krall's 1998 Grammy-winning jazz album called When I look in Your Eyes. The familiarity and talent in the studio are easy to understand Mandel's work. He brought his awe-inspiring orchestrations to their collaboration of Love is Answer.

Listening to the standards, some of them held my love for them. "In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning" sung by legends like Frank Sinatra. "If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas)" is a version of the Jacques Brel standard presented in English and French. "Spring Can Hang You Up" is one of those songs Barbra sang before back in a St. Louis club when she was only 18. The same version is on the album, the first-ever performance of this standard produced in a studio.

"There is nothing more important in life than love."

— Barbra Streisand

Bossa Nova Movie

"Gentle Rain" is a tender bossa nova performance. Derived from Black Orpheus, a movie presented the rhythm style of Brazilian music." Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" is a pensively sad and melancholy standard. First written in 1933 for Roberta, an operetta on Broadway by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach indicates the transformation of the rendition. Nat "King" Cole performed the song, as did the Platters and other great talents. "Some Other Time" is a jewel and is rarely presented with the music arranged by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden.

"Barbra Streisand is without a doubt one of the most honest people I have ever known. There is no doubt in my mind that she will not be doing any more concerts. Of course, she still will be making records and starring and directing in movies."

— Marvin Hamlisch. Composer

Jazz Standards

Jazz standards tickle my ears and fill my heart with delight. Barbra Streisand sings them on Love is Answer, and I hear pure joy. Of all the songs on the album, I pick "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," my ultimate favorite. I praise Frank Sinatra's version of this standard, and Barbra's version is frothy despondent and enchanting.

© 2018 Kenna McHugh


Kenna McHugh (author) from Northern California on January 01, 2019:

Albert. That sounds like an ideal compilation and not common on YouTube. I heard in a Streisand interview she emulates Holiday.

Albert Diner on December 31, 2018:

Interesting. In Barbra Streisands early 1960s lps there were some songs here and there that had jazz style. I hope to compile them into a youtube video. Barbra was somewhat influenced by the phrasing of Billie Holiday.

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