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Record Rack

November 20, 1998|DON HECKMAN

*** Neil Diamond, "As Time Goes By," Columbia. It takes two CDs for Diamond to thoroughly explore his affection for 20 classic tunes from movies. The arrangements provided by Patrick Williams, Jonathan Tunick, Jeremy Lubbock and others are stunning enough to make Jiminy Cricket sound appealing (just listen to "When You Wish Upon a Star"). To Diamond's credit, he maintains the essence of his spirited style amid the lush surroundings, delivering performances that will delight all the Diamond-philes. But why, in this centennial year of George Gershwin's birth, is there no music from that most quintessential composer of film songs?

*

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good) and four stars (excellent). The albums are already released unless otherwise noted.

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