Steve Lipman: Ridin' the Beat (2012)
One might say that Lipman found a "cavity" in the molar of modern life and it had to be filled with song. The filling is comprised of many of the notable composers of the great American song book: Harold Arlen, George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer, Richard Rogers, Lorenzo Hart and Cole Porter. Lipman received assistance from bassist Dan Prindle in crafting interesting arrangements that fit the singer's voice and vision. Inevitability, Ridin' The Beat has a soul; it's a tale all so human, filled with a comfortable familiarity of the great blue eyed one.
Lipman's vocal style is straight and to the point; there's no fooling around. There is no horse play with the melodies, like throwing in runs and glorious sustained notes everywherewell, except for the ending; Lipman's singing emphasizes the song and its melodic line. "It's Alright With Me" is given a rumbling piano intro that builds to a steady samba beat framing the song. Lipman clearly sings the well-known melody, while trumpeter Josh Evans adds fills and ultimately leads to a nice trumpet solo with Lipman taking the bridge out. Throughout the selection drummer Bryan Kelly and percussionist Rod Warner do a nice job of defining the beat for the ride.
"Oh Look At Me Now," "The Song Is You," "Old Devil Moon," "That Old Black Magic," and "Come Rain or Come Shine" have been beatin' the ear drums for years, but that's ok. These are great songs and just a few twists and turns are all that is needed to command attention. Lipman has also chosen a few selections that might not have been heard in a while. "Summer Wind" is given a relaxed 2/4 feel, with Doug Lang playing both saxophone and flute at the beginning, and later settling on sax for fills under Lipman's rendition of the melody, and a solo.
Riding the Beat' is fun and upbeat and reminiscent of an era when swing was king. Lipman portrays this era with authenticity and verve.
Track Listing: Oh Look At Me Now, The Song Is You, It’s Alright With Me, Summer Wind, Moonlight in Vermont, Old Devil Moon, Teach Me Tonight, That Old Black Magic, Come Rain or Come Shine, The Gal That Got Away, I Wish I Were in Love Again, Birth of the Blues.
Personnel: Steve Lipman: vocals; Dan Prindle: bass; Bryan Kelly: drums; Stephan Page: piano; Josh Evans: trumpet; Doug Lang: saxophone, clarinet, flute; Rene Gonzalez: percussion; Rod Warner: percussion.
Record Label: Locomotion Records