Stevie Holland: Restless Willow (2005)
Restless Willow is a recording that demonstrates that simple entertainment is one of the most important functions of the vocal arts. This thought couples conservative performance with a standard repertoire. Stevie Holland has expertly achieved both of these. He choice of material is measured. "Summertime," "How Long has this Been Going On," "Lush Life," and "Stardust" are all dispatched with professional skill and youthful exuberance. But Holland does throw a curve. "Zoot Walks In" is the most delightful piece on the record. With music by Zoot Sims and Gerry Mulligan with words by Dave Frishberg, "Zoot Walks In" is a vocalese dream in the hand of the capable Holland.
Holland has great support on this recording with the likes of percussionist Steve Kroon and saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman. Ruben Flores duets with Holland on "One Touch," filling out this fine recording with a measure of class. We should look forward to hearing more from Stevie Holland.
Track Listing: 1. It Might As Well Be Spring; 2. Love Is Stronger Far Than We; 3. Summertime; 4. How Long Has This Been Going On?; 5. One Touch; 6. Sunny Skies; 7. Lush Life; 8. Jeg Klesker Dig; 9. Here's That Rainy Day; 10. Zoot Walks In; 11. Stardust.
Personnel: Stevie Holland (vocals); Sean Harkness (guitar); David "Fathead" Newman (saxophone); Kenny Washington (drums); Steve Kroon (percussion). Arranger: Gary William Friedman.
Record Label: 150 Music