How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Some singers have it, but still more don't. On I Think It's Going to Rain Today, Curtis Stigers offers living proof that he clearly has it, crossing genres and performing songs by the likes of Randy Newman, Mose Allison, Willie Nelson, Sting, Tom Waits, and Willie Dixon, in addition to several original compositions. By doing so, the former pop vocalist acknowledges without question that his is more than one music.
Stigers brings his own flavor to each of these songs, and he makes it work, most notably on the original composition "Lullaby on the Hudson, Mose Allison's "Everybody's Crying Mercy, Sting's "I Can't Stand Losing You, and the disc's opening number, "My Babe, by bluesman Willie Dixon. Stigers delivers rich and heartfelt vocals that communicate his passion about each song's subject matter, be it his feelings for a no nonsense woman who has stolen his heart, or his thoughts on fatherhood and the love he has for his daughter.
Something that makes this recording and Stigers specifically so enjoyable is the ease with which he interacts with the musicians. Their interplay on this recording is natural. The instrumentalists know how to play in a way that highlights the vocals, and Stigers' singing makes the music shine. His own musicianship may be a factorhe plays tenor saxophonebut all players form one unit, and it makes listening a joy.
While the song selection is light on jazz, Stigers could sing a CD full of nursery rhymes and I would still want to hear it over and over again. Plainly stated, I Think It's Going to Rain Today is good music. May the rain never end.
Track Listing: My Babe;
Everybody Cryin' Mercy;
I Can't Stand Losing You;
Lullaby on the Hudson;
I Think It's Going to Rain Today;
Side by Side;
In Between Love;
It Amazes Me;
Take Me Out to the Ballgame (from Game Six).
Personnel: Pete McCann, guitar;
John Sneider, trumpet;
Matthew Fries, piano (#12);
Keith Hall, drums (#12);
Larry Goldings, piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hammond B3 organ, accordion, and
Matt Wilson, drums;
Ben Alison, bass (#2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10);
Phil Palombi, bass (#1, 6, 11, 12).