How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
This album introduces a new entry to the male vocal scene with Victor Trachsel. Trachsel does not have that muscular, strong voice many other members of the vocal fraternity possess. He's hip, cool the same way Mel Torme and Chet Baker were. He also understands the importance of good arrangements that allow enough room for his sidemen to stretch out. On almost every cut, Trachsel takes the opening chorus followed by a hefty solo by or more of the musicians. "Fly Me to the Moon" allocates more playing time to alto sax man David Glasser and pianist Larry Ham than to Trachsel. The exchange between Trachsel and the bass of Pat O'Leary to form the coda for "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" is a musical happening. Glasser gets more significant solo time on "Our Love Is Here to Stay", a showcase for his ability to improvise without overwhelming the music or the listener. This is a quality track. "It's Alright with Me" is one of the swingers on on the CD and Trachsel can swing.
The singer was taking no chances with his first album as he collected 14 well known entries from the Great American Songbook. His laid back, moderate baritone fits well with these selections. Even on a song like "Stormy Weather", a favorite of those with the strong, tough vocal chords, Trachsel's quiet approach is credible and reveals aspects of this tune that are often overlooked. "As Time Goes By "recalls Dooley Wilson's enduring rendition from Casablanca. Another first rate track. It is appropriate that pianist Larry Ham gets the solo on this cut.
This album is self-produced. One hopes that some enterprising record company will take heed and sign up this singer so that he doesn't disappear into the world of might have beens. Recommended.
Track Listing: Time after Time; Our Love Is Here to Stay; Let's Fall in Love; I'm Glad There Is You; East of the Sun; Fly Me to the Moon (in other Words); Let's Call the Whole Thing Off; It's Alright with Me; As Time Goes By; Witchcraft; They Can't Take That away from Me; Don't Get around Much Anymore; Stormy Weather; Steppin' out with My Baby
Personnel: Victor Trachsel - Vocals; Larry Ham - Piano; David Glasser - Alto Saxophone; Tom Melito - Drums; Pat O'Leary - Bass