Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup
I've gotten to know Bobby's family and they're just great. His son in law, Bob Baylor, is like the keeper of the legacy, and has made me some great CDs for me of Bobby's live act, Julie London singing Bobby's tunes and this awesome radio interview Bobby did in the 90s. His daughter Cynnie is incredibly smart and funny, she works in TV as a script supervisor, and she's told me some cool stories and showed me some amazing pictures of the black Buick roadster convertible Bobby and his first wife Cynthia took out to California via Route 66.
AAJ: Who else has been a major influence to you?
MW: As a writer I've really been influenced by my generations group of great singer-songwriters: Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, Laura Nyro (talk about under-rated) and Jimmy Webb. But as a jazz singer, it's definitely Mark Murphy, and then as a jazz writer, Jon Hendricks. Oh, and Al Jarreau---there's a couple of his CDs that are definitely keepers. I'm very eclectic, much to the chagrin of radio music directors everywhere. I've had to reign it in, the last few years.
AAJ: You've been doing some composing for theatre lately. Tell us about those projects!
MW: I somehow lucked into writing some songs for a little musical review called Naked Boys Singing! which is celebrating it's 5th anniversary off Broadway, and I've conceived and co-written another musical review called Too Old For The Chorus about getting older in an ageist society, which will be workshopped in New York this September, and I'm working on a book musical with my old pal, David Benoit. This one is about the last four months in the life of Marilyn Monroe. So I'm very busy in that world. And it is it's own world with it's own rules and joys and frustrations. Doing a CD is like instant gratification next to musicals, which take a long time to happen and are always being re-written.
AAJ: What else has been happening for you lately?
MW: The Varese Sarabande label just released a CD, a sort of compilation, of my last 16 years of recorded output-everything except my first LP. They did a lovely job of going back to the original analogue tapes, and we mastered it at the old Capitol Records studios, just feet from Studio B where the Nat Cole Trio, Frank Sinatra and yes, Bobby Troup recorded. It was a lovely summation of my early years. The CD is called Garden of Earthly Delights: The Best of Mark Winkler and Friends.
AAJ: Do you have any plans to tour or perform outside of the Los Angeles area?
MW: Yes, I just finished a gig in New York City that was very exciting. I performed with this great Kansas City singer David Basse, who's just recorded my song "Like Jazz" as the title tune of his new CD. We did a show called "Two Guys from the Coast" which had me doing the songs of Bobby Troup, while he did the songs of Matt Dennis. Plus on July 14th I'll be playing up in San Francisco at the beautiful Plush Room and in August in Kansas City.
AAJ: What ideas do you have for future CDs?
MW: I want to get back to a CD of a lot of my self-penned tunes, with a few more Troup songs thrown in. I'm writing with a couple of exciting jazz cats-so it should be good!
AAJ: You've worked with many outstanding musicians up to this point. If you could put together a "dream band" for a recording and a series of performances, either with people you've played with in the past or with whom you'd like to play, who would be in the band? Are there any other singers you'd like to duet with?
MW: The greatest joy of my career has been the wonderful musicians I've recorded with through the years. I'd love to work with all of them again-especially Joe Sample, David Benoit, Billy Childs, Anthony Wilson, Greg Hutchinson, Jon Mayer, Bob Sheppard, Kevin Axt, Joe Bagg, Mark Ferber and Roy McCurdy. I'm sure I've left somebody seminal out-but those are the ones who come to mind. I'd like to work with McCoy Tyner, Pat Metheny and do a song with Maria Schneider doing an arrangement for her orchestra behind me.
I want to sing with Mark Murphy. He's the best! I'd also love to duet with my good pals Mike Campbell and Julie Kelly (we did do one on "Scattin' In the Moonlight"). They're wonderful singers who don't always get the acclaim they should.
AAJ: Thank you very much for the interview. Best wishes for success with Mark Winkler Sings Bobby Troup!
Visit Mark Winkler on the web at www.markwinklermusic.com .