Randy Newman hails from a family of film composers (uncles Lionel and Alfred were Hollywood heavyweights), so his success scoring Pixar blockbusters and other flicks is fitting. Too bad his cinematic achievements have put such a crimp in his career as a recording artist. He's made some of the best singer-songwriter albums of the rock era, and 1970's Twelve Songs, 1972's Sail Away and 1974's Good Old Boys have held up remarkably well. Moreover, he hasn't lost his touch, as he proved with 1999's first-rate Bad Love. This is the most recent album of original material he's released, however -- and the only project he's presently working on, as far as the general public knows, is the soundtrack for Toy Story 3, which is slated for release in 2008. As a result, this series of solo shows will feature vintage material, and given the impressive catalogue of tunes from which Newman has to draw, that's okay. Still, he's capable of a lot more than summing up the interior lives of computer-generated puppets. A lot more.
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