Tony Messina: This is What I Am (1999)
The only constant, it seems, is Messina's talent and care in each and every performance. Every note is considered yet free. Every song digs into its own story and lets it fly. Such is especially the case with Messina's own compositions. From the cabaret opener "Wonders of the World" to the emotional title track and the more up-tempo (though no less meaningful) "It's a Loving World," Messina fits himself at least near the Songbook pantheon. While somewhat reminiscent, Messina's lyrics add a freshness and energy often lost and laid stale in these great old standards, revealing and building upon their inner secrets.
Record Label: R&M