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Randy Newman @ the Boulder Theatre | 3/9/11

Randy Newman has long been one of the most musically and lyrically ambitious singer-songwriters ever to be at play in the fields of popular music.

Born on November 28, 1943 to a renowned musical family, by seventeen Newman was a working songwriter. In 1968 he debuted with Randy Newman, and before long an unusually wide range of artists were recording his songs.

Critics lauded the musical depth, edge and literary quality of his lyrics as the 70's brought 12 Songs, Live, the classic Sail Away and brilliant and controversial Good Old Boys. Little Criminal caught the public's ear with the hit "Short People". Born Again followed.

In the Eighties, Newman's foray into film composing earned him his first two of sixteen Oscar nominations. Trouble In Paradise and the Grammy-winning score for The Natural followed. Next, Land of Dreams was considered another breakthrough work.

In the Nineties, Newman earned an Emmy and several more Grammys for work on films like Toy Story, James and the Giant Peach, Bug's Life and Toy Story 2. Newman also tickled his adult audience with his darkly hilarious take on Faust. The four-CD compilation: Guilty: 30 Years of Randy Newman and Bad Love followed, and in 2002, Newman won his first Oscar for Best Original Song for Monsters Inc. He has also earned 5 Grammy awards and 2 Emmy awards throughout his career.

The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. I (2003), his first effort for Nonesuch, introduces powerful new solo versions of early classics and recent gems alike. The eighteen songs are an intimate and powerful reminder of the enduring work that Newman has established. In 2008 he released Harps and Angels; for Nonesuch records. His first collection of new songs since 2009's Bad Love.

Most recently, Newman wrote the songs and score for Disney's The Princess and the Frog as well as Toy Story 3. He has earned two more Academy Award nominations(19 total) in the Best Original Song category for Almost There and Down In New Orleans.

On June 2nd 2010 Newman received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Eric Comstock & Randy Napoleon Release Bittersweet

The pianist & vocalist Eric Comstock, a star of the Off-Broadway hit OUR SINATRA known for his pop and jazz interpretations, and guitarist Randy Napoleon, currently of the Freddy Cole Quartet, have collaborated on a uniquely intimate voice/guitar CD, "Bitter/Sweet", on Harbinger Records.

Co-produced by Comstock and Katherine Miller, "Bitter/Sweet" features songs by Rodgers & Hart, Jobim (with a lyric by the late Susannah McCorkle), Lane and Lerner, Billy Strayhorn, Henry Mancini, Billy May, Paul Weston and others from the American, Brazilian and English songbooks, all arranged by Comstock and Napoleon. Standards such as "I Have Dreamed," "This Can't Be Love," "Gone With the Wind," "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams," "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," and "If I Had You" are joined by such rarities as Roger Schore's lyric to Strayhorn's "Ballad for Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus-Eaters". The album also includes "Two for the Road," on which Comstock is joined by his wife, celebrated vocalist Barbara Fasano. Comstock’s other CDs include “No One Knows”, “Young Man of Manhattan” and “All Hart”, and he is profiled in Will Friedwald's new book "The Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers" (Pantheon, 2010). Napoleon's arrangements are heard on Cole's Grammy-nominated salute to Billy Eckstine, "Freddy Cole Sings Mr. B."

Comstock and Napoleon first worked together at a concert for Lincoln Center's American Songbook in 2003, and felt it was time to record the duets they have performed in concert halls and festivals around the country in the years since. Napoleon says, "This is one of my favorite musical combinations. Whoever first carved a guitar out of a block of wood must have had a singer in mind -- guitar and voice are that natural together. Eric is also a first-rate pianist and accompanist, so I was particularly honored when he asked me to record with guitar and voice alone."

Comstock adds, "We live in a noisy world, and Randy and I are trying to show that whatever is worth saying musically can be said softly and slowly. This album is an antidote to stress, and Randy and I are extremely proud of it."

Comstock returns to the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room with Barbara Fasano on January 4th in a new show entitled, "HELLUVA TOWN: A  New York Soundtrack", featuring an idiosyncratic  mix of songs from Broadway and Hollywood, the pop singer-songwriters, and the jazz songbook.  Performances of "HELLUVA TOWN", which continue through January 15th, 2011, are Tuesdays through Thursdays at 8:30pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30 and 11pm.