I have always had a strong feeling for the more recent Great American Song Book. A recital in London on May 2006 gave me the opportunity to put together a whole programme of songs by friends, and composers I have admired. The concert was a great success, and so we decided to record it onto CD - hence the long list, and possibly not the best order of the songs. The piano solos were added to give me - and the audience - a rest: three are by old friends (I commissioned "Cliff Walk" from Scott Wheeler, Jeremy Dale Roberts "Tango for Lutz" is a neighbour, Madeleine Dring was a very well-known revue composer in London in the 1950s, as well as being a fantastic pianist) and the Polka Lente by Jean Weiner is a very long-standing favourite piece.
Many of the song composers are personal friends with whom I have studied and come to know through their songs, while others are composers who, while famous in the USA, are totally unknown in the UK (Bart Howard, Alec Wilder and Sheldon Harnick, for example)- and I thought that it was time the balance was restored in their favour!
One great problem was not what to include, but what I could possibly leave out! The choices were many, and some favourites had to be sacrificed along the way. I just hope that I have chosen songs which are not only my favourites, but favourites for my listeners as well.