Pete Brady and His Big Band: With a Song in My Heart
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Working out of Central Florida, Pete Brady is a crooner who builds images of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. He has a strong tenor/baritone voice similar to Tony Bennett's, even capturing Bennett's special vibrancy when singing those songs Tony does. With a range that allows him to hit high notes with ease, Brady comfortably handles a program of 15 familiar tunes backed by a band that carries his name but is led by Mike Lewis. Lewis also supplied the outstanding arrangements. The chart for and Brady's rendition of "Stardust" are simply elegant. For most of the up tempo material, the strings are dropped creating a jazzier feel, much the same way Nelson Riddle used to do with another crooner of note, Frank Sinatra. Brady can also swing as he shows on" Up a Lazy River "and "With a Song in My Heart". Even the strings bounce along on this cut. Brady's obvious delight in the material engages the listener right from the first track and carries through the entire session.
The band earns an A+ for the way it backs Brady. Ensemble work sizzles on the swing numbers and is appropriately tender on ballads. Solos are limited, but when they come like the fine tenor on "Our Love Is Here to Stay", they are solid and jazzy. Unfortunately, no credit is given for these outings in the liner notes. Is Brady a jazz singer? The same question has been asked many times about Sinatra and Bennett. If one has the talent to entertain like they have, the question is moot. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: That Old Black Magic; Just in Time; I'll Be Seeing You; In the Still of the Night; I've Got the World on a String; How Deep Is the Ocean; If I Ruled the World; God Bless the Child; Up a Lazy River; With a Song in My Heart; That's All; Begin the Beguine; Our Love Is Here to Stay; Stardust; Just One of Those Things
Personnel: Pete Brady - Vocals; Mike Lewis - Leader/Arranger; Steve Reid, Jason Carder, Jim Hacker, Kenny Faulk - Trumpet; Mike Eagan, Dante Luciani, Wade Eisinger, Joe Barati - Trombone; Bill Ross, Gary Keller, Dan Salmasian, Jim Hayward, Mike Brignola - Sax; Ed Metz, Dave Hardman - Drums; Charlie Silva - Bass; Connie Fay - Piano; String Section
Style: Big Band