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Recalling the years when Basie and Ellington reigned, Steve Tyrell sings standards alongside big band arrangements, strings, and in small ensemble format. His interpretation of these familiar standards certainly brings back the memories. Tyrell's singing voice, gritty and expressive, somewhat resembles the timeless delivery of Tony Bennett. Preferring to walk the straight and narrow by singing these standards as written, Tyrell relies on his accompaniment for improvisation. It's an all-star group, and their participation on this project pays dividends. Tyrell's singing, however, can stand on its own. He's a veteran performer who shares his love of the music with his audience. Tyrell swings.
Each song features a stellar instrumentalist with creative interludes. Joe Sample and Clark Terry appear often. Sample's inventions on "Ain't Misbehavin'" recall the witty Fats Waller. Plas Johnson adds his soulful tenor to several pieces, including a sultry "That Old Feeling." Sample's "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" rocks with a New Orleans shuffle step. Jane Monheit adds the female vocal part for "Baby, It's Cold Outside," but never warms up. Tyrell compensates. Sweets Edison adds a tender moment on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and Toots Thielemans interprets "Stardust" hauntingly. Clark Terry provides some of the album's brightest moments. By supporting Tyrell with class and adding a little free spirit, the singer and his sidemen have come up with another winner. Audio samples may be found at www.stevetyrell.com .
Track Listing: It Had to be You; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; Ain't Misbehavin'; That Old Feeling; Baby, It's Cold Outside; Stardust; It All Depends on You; As Time Goes By; I Wonder; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Why Was I Born; Let's Fall In Love; Our Love Is Here To Stay; Someone To Watch Over Me; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Remembering "Sweets".
Personnel: Steve Tyrell- vocals; Clark Terry- trumpet; Plas Johnson- tenor saxophone; Bob Mann- guitar; Kenny Asher, Joe Sample, Alan Pasqua- piano; Bob Cranshaw, Bob Magnuson- bass; John Guerin- drums; Allan Schwartzberg- drums, percussion; Jane Monheit- vocals on "Baby, It's Cold Outside;" Toots Thielemans- harmonica on "Stardust;" Bobby Ginsburg- percussion on "Stardust;" Harry "Sweets" Edison- trumpet on "Remembering Sweets;" Gary Grant, Jerry Hey- trumpet; Steven Holtman, Bill Reichenbach- trombone; Larry Williams- saxophone, flute; Dan Higgins- saxophone, flute, clarinet; strings: Elena Barere, Avril Brown, Natalie Cenovia Cummins, Barry Finclair, Cecelia Hobbs Gardner, Juliet Haffner, Katherine Livolsi-Stern, Richard Sartomme, Donna Tecco.