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Paul Jost's second outing on Dot Time Records is an eclectic collection of standard repertoire performed in a fresh and exciting manner that leaves no doubt this artist is a creative force that deserves to be added to the list of great male jazz vocalists of all time.
The album opens with a version of "Singing In The Rain" that pays homage to the original while allowing Jost all the room needed to show off his vocal prowess in this up tempo swinger. One of the most touching moments on this track occurs just prior to the closing when Jost gives an "off the cuff" reference to his long time associate and friend the late and great pianist George Mesterhazy.
Among the highlights on this album are "The Day's of Wine and Roses" (performed as a duet between flutist Mark Adler and Jost), the haunting version of Luiz Bonfa's classic "Gentle Rain" and the wonderful arrangement of "Waltz New" featuring an unisono introduction between Jost and bassist Kevin MacConnell proving it's not just Paul Chambers that could swing with the bow.
With Breaking Through, Paul Jost has shown that he is a force to be reckoned with and an artist that deserves to be seen on all great festival stages worldwide. This is one of the best jazz albums I've had the pleasure of listening to so far this year. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: Singing In The Rain; I Got Rhythm; Waltz For Debby; Days Of Wine And Roses; This Nearly Was Mine; Sweet Lorraine; Blues On The Corner; Book Faded Brown; I Don’t Need No Doctor; Waltz New; Gentle Rain; All Of You.
Personnel: Paul Jost: Vocal, Keyboards & Guitar; Frank Strauss: Piano; Steve Varner: Bass; Dan Monaghan: Drums; Mark Adler: Flute; Jim Ridl: Piano (Tracks 5 & 12); Tim Lekan: Bass (Tracks 5 & 12); Bob Shomo: Drums (Tracks 5,7 &12); Andy Lalasis: Bass (Track 7); Tony Miceli: Vibes; Kevin MacConnell: Bass (Track 10); Keith Hollis: Drums (Track 11); Phyllis Chapell: Spoken Word.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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