Streisand still topping the charts at 67

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Streisand still topping the charts at 67

Ten-time Grammy winner Barbra Streisand, 67, released her new album at the end of September. “Love is the Answer” debuted at No. 1 in the U.S., ahead of Mariah Carey, who released an album at the same time.

With the help of acclaimed jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall and the arrangement skills of Johnny Mandel, critics are saying that the new album sets a new precedent and is being hailed as her best mix of jazz and pop tunes to date. Fans will recognize her cabaret and jazz vocal trademarks, but there is a new depth and maturity on tracks such as the Brazilian rendition of “Gentle Rain” and the atmospheric “If You Go Away (Ne Me Quitte Pas).”

Streisand has also achieved just as much on stage and the big screenas a movie producer, film director, screenwriter and actress. She won an Oscar for the 1968 film, “Funny Girl.” Currently, she is rumored to have been cast in “Little Fockers,” which is a sequel to her most recent motion picture, “Meet the Fockers.”

The accomplished entertainer had some answers and insight of her own for her new album.

Q. What was the driving force behind you recent release, “Love is the Answer?”

A. I wanted everything simpler. Simpler arrangements, simpler streamlines, simpler charts, and songs that have stood the test of time.

How would you describe the album-making process now as opposed to the 1960s?

I would do an album in three days [during the 60s]. That’s four songs each day...12 songs. That’s it. Over and out. Today, they have so many gadgets that they can have so many tracks. It’s actually more difficult in a way.

How did the collaboration with Diana Krall come about?

This album came about because Diana came to see my last concert in New York in 2007. She was sitting next to Alan Bergman who said, “I always wanted Barbara to do a jazz album and Diana just said, “I’ll produce it.” Then, he told me about it and I thought that might be interesting because I usually produced many of my old albums and I thought it would be interesting to work together. I’ve always admired her musicianship and loved the way she sings. She works with a trio and I thought this was how I always used to work at the beginning of my career - with a trio. Even though I like to sing live with a big orchestra, she works with the trio and then puts the strings on later. I figured it’s a throwback to my roots and I’d love to try to do that with her.

You were named the #1 female album-selling recording artist in history and the only woman to make the top 10 all time best-selling artists list.

I was told recently that I was the biggest female album seller. First of all, I don’t always get what it is I’m supposed to be, but I don’t like to rest on my laurels. I just keep making records and hope for the best, you know? Do the best I can, sing the songs I’ve always wanted to sing, and that’s it.

Interview conducted by Jay Landers, A&R Representative, Columbia Records

By Mirah Kang Contributing writer []

Barbra Streisand, an eight-time Grammy winner, says she doesn’t like to rest on her laurels, of which there are many. Provided by Sony Music Korea

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