The original soundtrack for Neil LaBute's Nurse Betty features innocent, classic pop songs that capture the sweetly delusional state of the film's title character. Jula De Palma and Pink Martini's versions of the lighthearted standard "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera Sera)" bookend songs like Ricky Nelson's "Poor Little Fool," Ann-Margret's "Slowly," and Della Reese's "Don't You Know," and selections from Rolfe Kent's quirky original score complete this enjoyable companion to one of 2000's most unique films.
This pairing of two totally idiosyncratic vocalists acquired legendary status over the decades in which it had been out of print. But the proof is in the listening, and frankly it doesn't represent either artist's best work. There is certainly a powerful, often sexy rapport between the two – Charles in his sweet balladeering mode, Carter with her uniquely keening, drifting high register – and they definitely create sparks in the justly famous rendition of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." The main problem is in Marty Paich's string/choir arrangements, which too often cross the line into treacle, whereas his charts for big band are far more listenable…
Quintessence is the "pure and concentrated essence of a substance" and the title of a beautiful album from vocalist Betty Buckley and longtime producer/musical arranger/pianist Kenny Werner, who is co-credited on the cover. Not actually a "compilation," the liner notes by Betty Lynn Buckley explain that this studio disc, the musical duo's ninth album over a span of two decades, represents more of an open arrangement to rework the music the singer is associated with. For example, she extends Arthur Alexander's classic "Cry Me a River" from the sparse – and shorter – 3:09 version on 1997's Much More album to a more elaborate and experimental vamp that is double in length.
Bessie Regina Norris, better known by her stage name, Betty Wright (born December 21, 1953), is a Miami-based soul and R&B singer-songwriter, who rose to fame in the 1970s with hits such as "Clean Up Woman" and "Tonight is the Night". After leaving TK Records Betty moved on to a bigger label, signing with Epic where her self-titled album was released. The album was notable for the minor Stevie Wonder-composed hit, "What Are You Gonna Do With It". That same year, she contributed vocals on Richard "Dimples" Fields' Dimples album, especially on the hit, "She's Got Papers on Me", where she catches Fields singing out about another woman, verbally attacking him in the ending monologue. In 1983, the album Wright Back at You featured compositions by Marlon Jackson, of the Jackson Five.