Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

E. J. Decker: Bluer Than Velvet: The Prysock Project

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
E. J. Decker probably could write a book if they asked him—his shaping influences and history of musical collaborations (not to mention social activism) would make it a fascinating one indeed—but it would be so much nicer to hear him sing it. A voice smooth as, well, velvet (pardon the obvious simile) lets him put a rich soulful stamp on anything from that Great American Songbook to classic rock or folk. For this long-in-coming labor of love, though, it's all about shining a light on the oft-overlooked Arthur Prysock: a dim smoky blue light, of course, preferably accompanied by a dry martini.

Bluer Than Velvet should do a service in nudging more listeners to remember or discover Prysock's R&B croon, though Decker's similarly cozy deep baritone lets this affair stand most appealingly on its own. The set consists of classic standards mellowed like a well-aged whiskey, unspooling at the easy pace of a wee-hours lounge set to ease the crowd through last call and last drinks. Most were Prysock staples, though Decker also throws in a couple others he never recorded—a lightly jaunty "On the Street Where You Live" making one album's highlight—which still fit the program like a glove.

As Decker's drawl ekes the life and love out of each syllable, the band lightly swings in style just as tasteful to match. Enticing trombone and baritone sax complement his low register with smooth shades of cabaret and blues; they and the dreamy piano and rhythm section could have stepped straight out of a lush Blue Note session from the 1950s. The themes lean on the wistful side—note the choice of "What a Difference a Day Made," featuring the song's mature side alongside a couple autumnal titles—yet there's a fair share of smiles too. Whatever the song or the mood, count on Decker to deliver it in a way all his own.

Track Listing: You Had Better Change Your Ways; Autumn in New York; What a Difference a Day Made; Blue Velvet; Why Can't You Behave?; Since I Fell for You; It's Too Late (Baby Too Late); When You Walked In the Room; He Loves and She Loves; When I Fall in Love; On the Street Where You Live; I Could Write a Book; (I Don't Stand) A Ghost of a Chance; September in the Rain.

Personnel: E.J. Decker: vocals; Claire Daly: baritone sax; Chris Bergson: guitar; Les Kurtz: piano; Elizabeth Frascoia: trombone; Saadi Zain: bass; Tom Melito: drums.

Title: Bluer Than Velvet: The Prysock Project | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Candela Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Octopus Album Reviews
Octopus
By Jack Bowers
March 21, 2019
Read Pinch Point Album Reviews
Pinch Point
By Mark Corroto
March 21, 2019
Read Crosswinds Album Reviews
Crosswinds
By Don Phipps
March 21, 2019
Read Colors Album Reviews
Colors
By Mark Sullivan
March 21, 2019
Read The Grey Album Album Reviews
The Grey Album
By Mike Jurkovic
March 21, 2019
Read WHENUFINDITUWILLKNOW Album Reviews
WHENUFINDITUWILLKNOW
By Troy Dostert
March 20, 2019
Read Path Of Totality Album Reviews
Path Of Totality
By Jerome Wilson
March 20, 2019