Michael Bublé has become somewhat of a one-man army, one of the few jazz artists from the Reprise label to have widespread exposure. This young vocalist gained lots of momentum and popularity with his 2004 release, Come Fly With Me
. In addition to national television exposure, he's been featured in ads for Starbucks.
Bublé stays on the front lines with his fourth CD, Caught in the Act. It's his second live effort which, like Come Fly With Me, is supplemented by a DVD. Bublé has the impressive ability to blend traditional jazz and contemporary pop vocal styles, simultaneously attracting a youthful following without alienating older jazz aficionados who yearn for the sounds of Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra or Mel Torme.
The shouts and screams from the audience as he delivers the opener, "Feeling Good," are reminiscent of classic video footage of Paul Anka concerts. The enthusiasm increases on the swinging "Summer Wind." Bublé shows a bit of versatility, doing a humorous and effective impression of longtime radio icon Casey Kasem while telling the story behind an original song, "Home," which was co-written by Bublé, Amy Foster-Gillies and pianist/music director Alan Chang. This elegant track of yearning features a brief but charming guitar solo by Randy Napoleon.
Drummer Robert Perkins and bassist Craig Polasko make their presence felt, along with Chang, as they back Bublé on "You and I," a ballad penned by Stevie Wonder. Bublé then throws in a little scat on another swinging tune, "The More I See You," and Laura Pausini joins him on a cover of the Lou Rawls hit "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine." This rendition is slower and more romantic, but that doesn't necessarily make it better. It's good, but don't throw away the original. Bublé and the band then kick it into high gear on the Beatles' "Can't Buy Me Love," easily the most energetic and perhaps the best cover song on the album.
Backed throughout by an excellent band, including horn section and string synths, Bublé continues his practice of thrilling live audiences while giving the home listener plenty to enjoy as well. While he does jazz standards and covers pop songs, the thing that sets Bublé apart from many young artists is his ability to make them his own. That's a tried and true cliche, but it's accurate in describing how the singer puts his own stamp on every song he sings. Some songs are covered ad nauseum. However, as long as Bublé does what he's been doing, his music will never get old.