The Les DeMerle Band: You're The Bop: A Jazz Portrait of Cole Porter (2000)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
A small band with a very large band sound.
Skip right to the last track, "Love for Sale". This is a drum-voice duet between DeMerle and Eisele. It is stunning. Eisele's time is as perfect her empathy with the drummer DeMerle. This reading is as effective as the same vehicle used by Mary Pearson on her Arkadia release You and I, where she duets with the drums. Voice and drums'drums and voice, this is what this disc is ultimately about. From start to finish, De Merle plays with such power and grace as to make his quintet sound like a band three times that size. Cole porter has rarely been played so boldly and over-the-top.
There is not a straight arrangement in the bunch. Each piece holds its own special surprise, whether it is the revamped lyrics to "You're the Top", the waltz-driven "I get a Kick Out You", or tart and pleasing "Anything Goes." On hand is Mississippi's own Mundell Lowe on guitar (Bruce Foreman is also on hand for some cuts). The true treat is Richie Cole's always precise and perfect alto saxophone. He provides seamless support with effortless solos. This disc is an embarrassment of riches, all of this with DeMerle and Eisele at the center of this creative tidal wave. This is a very recommendable collection of standards, by that stand king, Cole Porter.
Track Listing: You're The Bop; Night And Day; I Get A Kick Out Of You; Get Out Of Town; Use Your Imagination; I Love You; Every Time We Say Good By; Easy To Love; Anything Goes; Just One Of Those Things; I've Got You Under My Skin; So In Love; Everything I Love; From This Moment On; All Of You; Let's Do It; Love For Sale (Total Time: 53:57).
Personnel: Les DeMerle: Drums; Bonnie Eisele: Vocals; Richie Cole: Alto Saxophone; Mundell Lowe: Guitar; Bruce Foreman: Guitar; Smith Dobson: Piano; Seward McCain: Bass.
Record Label: Summit Records
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock