Beauty and the Beat! is a mostly live (yes, mostly live) album by the great Peggy Lee with the equally talented George Shearing at the piano. It's interesting that they recorded introductions to these songs after the live concert was recorded. However, despite this unusual feature this disc is extremely pleasing to the ear. Peggy sounds just great here and George plays his piano wonderfully. We also get two bonus tracks that apparently were not on the record album release of this recording; Peggy and George perform "Nobody's Heart" and "Don't Ever Leave Me."
For decades we've been listening to the live-in-concert "Beauty and the Beat" and hearing a studio project with applause, announcements and low volume audience chatter dubbed in. Now all the distractions have been removed, along with the echoey sound necessary to make it all sound live, and what we have is a beautiful, detailed collection with great depth never before apparent. In the previous version Peggy sounded like she was socking it over to an enthusiastic audience; now, with the very same recordings, she sounds intimate and close. Shearing sounds the same--totally engaging and delightful.
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