Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall
Rufus Wainwright and Judy Garland may seem like an unlikely pair, but the 34-year-old chanteur has long worshipped the legendary star, said Ricardo Baca in The Denver Post. Wainwright, with his supper-club croon and the nonchalance of his full-bodied euphonies, has always evoked a bygone era. Now he pays tribute to Garland by re-creating song-for-song her 1961 landmark concert at Carnegie Hall. Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall is an “aural manifestation of decades of study” and utter devotion. Wainwright doesn’t merely cover her most famous works; he gives an “almost uncomfortable master class” in all things Judy. Garland is undoubtedly the “technically superior vocalist,” said John Soeder in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Nonetheless, Wainwright, in his usual baroque fashion, “salutes her with all the panache his warm vibrato can muster.” Backed by a 36-piece orchestra, he coos through such classics as “San Francisco” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” “That’s Entertainment” and “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart” are “right up his Tin Pan Alley.” Wainwright’s “extreme fidelity to the content, form, spirit, and passion of the original” makes this recording a joy, said Larry Getlen in the New York Post. Wainwright emulates Garland with the utmost sincerity and “makes her whole for a new generation.” If imitation is the greatest form of flattery, Ms. Garland should be proud.