Tito on Broadway! My Fair Lady Goes Latin


Now this is a little more authentic in that at least here we have an established latin superstar. There have been other pop "adaptations" of Broadway shows - the jazz take on "West Side Story" by Oscar Peterson, or Stan Kenton, "Gigi" by Andre Previn, "Black Orpheus" by Vince Guaraldi are a few that come to mind (Kenton, Peterson and Previn were all actually prolific at this kind of thing). Next to "Porgy an Bess" with at least 16 and "West Side Story" with 11 different adaptations, "My Fair Lady" comes in a close third with 10 versions, with distinguished sets by Nat King Cole, Shelly Manne, Dick Hyman, Andre Previn, Oscar Peterson, and other jazz greats. I wondered how the latin-themed version would hold up.

From the cover, it certainly looks promising. Our fair lady seems in a state of carefree abandon, shaking them maracas like there was no tomorrow! It's a pretty picture, and my hopes were running high. In my experience, if the first cut on an album doesn't grab you, there's a high probability it is downhill from there. After all, artists and their producers want to make a good first impression, so Side One, Track One better be sensational.

I am disappointed to report that it wasn't. As a matter of fact, I kind of forced myself to give it a chance and hear it through, but the annoying arrangements, the mediocre sound, and the lackluster performances had me running to turn it down or even better take it off! I am no Tito expert, but he seems a long way from the exciting records from his RCA period. I really can't recommend this one, though it might have appeal for collectors of "cheescake" covers.

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