Terry Blaine and Mark Shane: Toot Hot for Words
The best of intentions notwithstanding, no album, especially an adventurous one like this, makes it unless the supporting musicians are completely and unreservedly with the program. Blaine (and we) are especially lucky to have the high caliber of musicians on this album. All of them get a chance to show their wares. Vache's clarinet has already been mentioned. Then there's Joel Helleny trombone which takes on a Jack Teagarden Texas tailgate mode on "Dinah". Ed Polcer's cornet further adds to the musical authenticity of the1920's-40's this album recreates. Listen to him swing on "Concentratin' on You". Ed Metz's Dave Tough-like drums lay down that pulsating drum beat which was so characteristic of the period the album covers. But it is Mark Shane's piano which glues the whole thing together as his stylistically flexible piano fashions just the right mood for each song Blaine sings. That these two are musical soulmates is very evident.
Too Hot for Words serves to reminds one how enduring the work of the great stylists of the past (and some from the relatively recent past) was and the rich vocal legacy they left behind. And in the hands of talented professionals, the reminder is a very entertaining one indeed. Highly recommended.
Tracks:A-Tisket A-Tasket; Dinah; Looking at You; It's Too Hot for Words; My Very Good Friend the Milkman; It's You; A Ship without a Sail; The Joint Is Jumpin'; Concentratin'; on You; You Go to My Head; My Mother's Son-in-Law; I 'm No Angel; You Meet the Nicest People in Your Dreams; It's Easy to Remember; Repeal the Blues; Goodnight My Love
Personnel: Terry Blaine-vocals; Russell George-bass; Tom Desisto-guitar; Allan Vache-clarinet; Joel Helleny,Tom Artin-trombone; Mark Shane-piano; Ed Metz, Jr.-drums; Ed Polcer-cornet; Harry Allen-tenor sax