"Unsung Hollywood," is a CD Baby Editor's pick in both the Jazz-Pop Vocal and the Crooners Vocal categories, and has been heard on radio stations nationwide and abroad, including in New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Virginia, Nevada, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Kentucky and the United Kingdom.
Oscar winning songwriter and multiple Oscar nominee Richard M. Sherman ("Mary Poppins"; "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang;" "The Jungle Book") who wrote two of the album's selections, has characterized Ms. Esposito's singing as "gorgeous," and summed up by calling the CD, "So beautiful . . . a lovely, lovely album."
The late great multiple-Oscar winning and Oscar nominated lyricist, Ray Evans ("Que Sera, Sera," "Mona Lisa," "Buttons and Bows," "Silver Bells") who also wrote one of the album's selections, wrote that "Unsung Hollywood," is "completely unique," that Ms. Esposito "sings the material beautifully," and has "a tremendous range."
New York reviewer, Dan Singer, for
In Tune International Magazine (London) writes:
"So many gems within this explosive collection . . . Ms. Esposito hits all the right notes for a spellbinding enchanting vocal. . . . `If I Love Again,' is tenderly sung with the enormous feeling that this pleasing ballad requires. . . .`Little Jazz Bird' . . . is a toe-tapping wonder... Her version of `After Today' is a dramatic forceful rendering that should make you press the repeat button. Julie swings this rarely performed inventive song with her one of a kind sensational high note conclusions ... It's a joy to revisit these songs and their remarkable swinging arrangements . . ."
New York reviewer, Jeff Rossen for
Cabaret Scenes Magazine writes:
" . . . this cinematic sampler is a gem," with "solid performances" of `Where Is It Written?' and `I Believe In Love',; "a rousing `Let's Hear It For Me,' and a perfectly lovely take on `If I Love Again'" . . . a "great pairing of `Almost In Your Arms/It Had Better Be Tonight', and enjoyable takes on `After Today,' and `What Can You Lose?'"
Mr. Rossen further notes that two songs (from an X-rated movie musical), "When You Gotta Go," and "I'm All I Need," "are reasons enough alone for picking up this set."
New York reviewer, Rob Lester, for
Talkin' Broadway," writes:
"Julie Esposito . . is a solid, confident singer who brings flair to all the songs here."
"She takes `I'm All I Need,' and avoids making it just another pat-yourself-on-the-back anthem. It has vulnerability." . . . "I especially like the medley of two songs by the Sherman Brothers . . . `Freedom' and `If'n I Was God,' from "Huckleberry Finn", and "Tom Sawyer" . . . " `The Turntable Song', is a 1947 bit of heaven in its nostalgic sweetness . . ."
Richard Edgcomb for "Center Stage" writes:
"Fabulous New CD - Esposito sings from the heart and truly understands the lyrics, bringing new life to some forgotten and wonderful movie songs."
Songwriter Mark Winkler ("Too Old For The Chorus," "Naked Boys Singing") writes:
". . . what a surprise to hear fresh material written by the masters, and the cherry on top of it all is the lucious voice of Ms. Esposito. . . . She rescues from undue obscurity a whole slew of gems from Anthony Newley from his misbegotten project Hieronymous Merkin- and they turn out to be real winners. In addition she really scores with a beauty from Funny Lady "If I Love Again" and and really swings on "Little Jazz Bird" by the Gershwins . One of my favorites is Journey to the Past from Anastasia . . . it's simply wonderful!. . . Can't wait to hear Volume 2."
Songwriter Bob Levy, Silk River Music writes:
"Julie Esposito knows her way around a great song. Absolutely wonderful vocals on some delightful Hollywood tunes. . . . I wouldn't compare her to anyone other than 'Julie Esposito'....she's in a league of her own. I'm going to enjoy this CD for a long, long time... "
Oscar Groomes, writing for O's Place Jazz Newsletter praised Ms. Esposito and her musicians as well as the content of the CD itself, including the comment that, "The songs are all lesser known gems that give the CD freshness vs. a rehashing of overworked standards."
Singer, Molly Brandenburg (aka "Peggy Judy") writes:
"Julie Esposito has a classic voice in the tradition of
great singers like early Streisand and Julie London.
She conveys the emotional content of these wonderful songs with a smooth, clear style that is utterly captivating. It's the kind of voice that has to be heard again and again. Bravo! More Julie, more!!"
Jazz Great Howlett Smith has called Ms. Esposito's singing "incredible," and stated that she "should be heard worldwide!"
Ms. Esposito recently performed at Sam's Town Live in Las Vegas, Nevada, which aired on KUNV and KDWN radio. She was also the featured guest artist on John Nasshan's show, "Arts Alive," on KUNV radio. She has also appeared in the "Any Wednesday" concert series at Barnes & Noble in New York City, and most recently,at the Metropolitan Room in New York.
Ms. Esposito has bben interviewed by Richard Edgcomb on the program, "Center Stage" on WDVR, New Jersey/Philadelphia; and by Lynn Dimenna and Jeffrey C. Williams on WVOF, on the fabulous radio program, "At The Ritz," where the hosts raved about "Unsung Hollywood."
Ms. Esposito has also been the guest of Lou Powers of WBCB, who described the CD as, "fantastic," and "getting a great response," and Jim Stone of WLNZ, who raved about the CD's "wonderful songs," and praised Ms. Esposito's "beautiful voice."
Ms. Esposito has also been heard on WHRV, on `The Vocal Sounds of Jazz.'
"UNSUNG HOLLYWOOD" HAS BEEN HEARD ON RADIO STATIONS NATIONALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY INCLUDING: KMOX, WBUB, WHRV, WLNZ, WNYC, WQCD, WRHU, WROG, WMUK, WWRW, WUKY,KUNV, KDWN, WVOF, GMMY/HBN, WOAM, XFM RADIO(U.K),WFDU, WPAT, MTV RADIO NETWORK, WDVR.
Julie Esposito originally hails from Chicago, and made her professional singing debut at the age of 16.
For the last several years, Ms. Esposito has performed in almost every major jazz and cabaret venue in the Los Angeles area. She is celebrated for her pure, warm tone and artful phrasing, and has a unique style, characterized as a mixture of jazz, pop and Broadway.
Ms. Esposito is also known for her willingness to showcase lesser-performed song gems, as in her newly released CD, "Unsung Hollywood." She always delivers her individual `take' on a song, endeavoring always to honor the intent of the songwriter, while steering clear of imitating any prior recording.
"Unsung Hollywood," celebrates an eclectic mix of lesser known and/or lesser performed film songs written primarily by Oscar winning songwriters, such as Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer, Stephen Sondheim, Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Jay Livingston & Ray Evans, John Kander and Fred Ebb and Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Two songs on the CD were requested of Ms. Esposito by the songwriters themselves.
"Unsung Hollywood" demonstrates that musical treasures can be found in the oddest of films. For example, two of the most poignant songs on the CD were written for a 1969
Ms. Esposito also chose to feature a great Gershwin tune,"Little Jazz Bird," as an example of a great song written for a Broadway show which unfortunately, did not make it into the film version.
On a personal note, Ms. Esposito is the daughter of the late jazz pianist/musical director, Gene Esposito, who worked with many greats, including Joe Williams, Mel Torme, Doc Severinson, and Woody Herman, with whom he co-produced an album Grammy-nominated for best jazz album of 1979. It was her father, Gene Esposito, who penned the arrangement for "If I Love Again," which appears on "Unsung Hollywood."
Ms. Esposito is also descended from a long line of notorious politicians and judges (she is a member of the Shriver clan and a direct descendant of a U.S Supreme Court Chief Justice), and in that tradition, she has forged a second career in law and public service. She currently volunteers as a youth mentor and as a Judge Pro Tem for Los Angeles County. She finds her passion for social justice and her love for music completely compatible, and considers giving voice to under-represented songs, like those in "Unsung Hollywood," to be her way of effecting some musical justice, as it were.
The fine musical arrangements on this CD were created
by award winning musical director, Shelly Markham, who is also the album's pianist.