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"The Bon Soir is so dark, not even the waiters can see. They all carry tiny flashlights up their sleeves so they can determine who needs a refill, creating the effect of a room-a-twinkle with glow-worms..." - The New York Times, November 1960
"The Bon Soir has swung into the new nightclub season with the find of the year. She is Barbra Streisand, a Brooklynite whose voice and poise belie her scant eighteen years. Vocally, there's range and power; style wise, there appears to be a natural gift for musical comedy, but she handles with aplomb the most meaningful ballads." - New York World-Telegram, November 1960
Los Angeles, September 16, 2022
In the fall of 1960, New York City wasn't the same urban mecca it is today. Neither was eighteen-year old Barbra Streisand, who emerged on the Greenwich Village club scene at a small, cozy venue on West 8th Street called the Bon Soir, where she received rave reviews and wooed the crowd with her incredible performances. Within two years Streisand, whose magnificent interpretations of both standards and quirky, obscure cabaret tunes was a nationwide sensation, was knocking audiences dead with her nightly performance as Miss Marmelstein in David Merrick's I Can Get It For You Wholesale on Broadway.
Sixty years, multiple Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe awards and nearly two hundred million record sales later, Barbra has for the first time authorized the release of a major portion of her Bon Soir performances, as captured in 1962 by Columbia Records. IMPEX Records - in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment - is proud to present the audiophile 180-gram vinyl LP and SACD editions of the most sought-after recordings in Barbra's legendary career: Live at the Bon Soir: Greenwich Village, NY - November 1962. This gorgeous album features twenty-four brilliant performances personally selected by Barbra Streisand from the original Bon Soir master tapes and expertly mixed and mastered by Paul Blakemore and Jochem van der Saag, under the supervision of producers Barbra Streisand, Martin Erlichman and Jay Landers.
IMPEX RECORDS has created two versions of this noteworthy release: a two-LP vinyl edition and a 24 bit / 96 kHz SACD. To achieve the best fidelity possible, engineer Paul Blakemore transferred the original three-track session tapes to high-resolution 96/24-bit digital files, which were then mixed by Jochem van der Saag. For mastering, Blakemore used an all-analog signal-processing chain in order to maintain the warmth of the original analog recordings. To master the vinyl LP edition, IMPEX engaged Bernie Grundman, who has mastered many of Barbra's albums over the last sixty years, to create the lacquer pressing master.
Rich with the club's atmosphere, these historic, essential recordings present a warm, charming portrait of a truly important moment in New York City history and American pop culture. Several years removed from Manhattan's flourishing jazz nightclub scene, tiny clubs such as the Bon Soir began popping up, and served as both a forum and launching pad for some of the finest vocalists and musicians the east coast had to offer.
Because of Barbra's success there, Columbia Records A&R rep David Kapralik decided that the first album from his newly-signed artist would emanate from a setting in which she had become most comfortable: the small stage at the Bon Soir. Producer Mike Berniker and recording engineers Roy Halee and Adjutor "Pappy" Theroux set up the mics and recorders, and for three nights harnessed the electrifying show that Barbra had crafted.
"The recordings we did at the Bon Soir were so authentically 'Barbra.' I produced her first three albums at Columbia, and while they were wonderful accomplishments, I thought that what she did each night at the Bon Soir transcended anything we ever did in the studio." - Mike Berniker
Columbia ultimately decided to bring Barbra into the studio to record her first album, and except for the inclusion of several tracks on compilations through the years, the Bon Soir tapes laid dormant in the vault. Now, through this extraordinary release, everyone can at last enjoy the early sound and style of an icon in-the-making: the same brilliant artist whose performances at the Bon Soir were lauded by everyone from actress Helen Hayes to lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman. We invite you to join us for an evening at the fabled Bon Soir. Take a seat, order a drink and revel in the magic that is Barbra. You will not be disappointed!
"She walked out and sang one note and I remember starting to cry, and I never stopped crying the entire show. Afterward, I went backstage and said to her, 'Do you know how wonderful you are?'" - Marilyn Bergman
One of the most important performers of this or any generation, and whose resume ticks every box for every major performance medium. Barbra Streisand Live at the Bon Soir captures her youthful exuberance at her brashest and best, and it's absolutely astonishing that it's taken sixty years to see the light of day. Highly recommended!
What these tapes abundantly reveal is the superstar already awaiting discovery: the voice staggering in range, power, and expressive beauty; the rapport with the audience absolute; the personality confident and appealing; the taste in material impeccable; the interpretations everywhere marked by intelligence, sensitivity, humor,c harm,wit, irony,and emotion from raw ('Cry Me a River') to exquisite ('A Sleepin' Bee'). With sonics made eminently listenable, these tapes reveal a now legendary entertainer, performer, and singer at the dawn of her career yet already a master.
This is music in a category of its own, a little supernova that happened in Greenwich Village decades ago. This album gave me shivers. As Little Richard put it, 'My big toe shot up in my boot!'... There is no excuse not to listen to this unique, historic recording.
This is a must have for all the Barbra Streisand fans out there, but also for those interested in their first introduction to her legacy and her extraordinary entertainment skills. A new and inspiring title for multiple generations! Highly recommended!
- Super Audio CD
- SACD Stereo SACD Layer
- Designed to Play on Standard CD Players, SACD Players & Other SACD-Capable Players
- Legendary 1962 Debut Recording Officially Available for the Very First Time
- Every Aspect of the Production Personally Supervised by Barbra Streisand
- Mixed by Jochem van der Saag from the Original Analog Session Tapes & Mastered in 24 bit/96 kHz by Paul Blakemore
- Deluxe Hardcover Book Packaging
- 32-Page Booklet Featuring Barbra's Recollections, the Recording's History & Production, and Performance Photos
- Introduction by David Kapralik / My Name Is Barbra
- Much More
- I Hate Music
- Right As the Rain
- Cry Me A River
- Lover, Come Back to Me
- Band Introductions
- Soon It's Gonna Rain
- Come to the Supermarket (In Old Peking)
- When the Sun Comes Out
- Happy Days Are Here Again
- Keepin' Out of Mischief Now
- A Sleepin' Bee
- I Had Myself A True Love
- Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
- Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
- I'll Tell the Man in the Street
- A Taste of Honey
- Never Will I Marry
- Nobody's Heart Belongs to Me
- My Honey's Lovin' Arms
- I Stayed Too Long At the Fair