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Mark Christian Miller: Crazy Moon

C. Michael Bailey By

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Southern California already has Mark Winkler. Some crazy critical mass is reached when considering vocalist Mark Christian Miller's Crazy Moon. Not because Miller and Winkler are so much alike...there is a bit of that, but more because they are so different. Both have performed on the Left Coast for the past 25 years, each building a dedicated following and each making a light and appealing brand of jazz vocals. Miller has a Broadway voice with jazz approach. His tone is well-balanced and warm. His song choice for Crazy Moon includes only a few time-worn standards ("Cheek to Cheek" and the title track) that he capably infuses with new life if not a gentle and commanding swing.

Andre and Dorothy Previn's "Second Chance" and Bob Dorough's "I've Got Just About Everything" season this collection with graceful fun and longing. Pianist Josh Nelson (who also claims the lion's share of arrangements) guides an appropriately understated rhythm section, making the best use of guitarist Larry Koonse. The inclusion of Bob Sheppard on bass clarinet potently accents Marvin Fisher's "Strange." Sheppard improves any recording on which he appears. Miller shows all of his talent a circuitous "Almost in Your Arms." A solid outing by a solid vocalist.

Track Listing: Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams; Tomorrow Is My Turn; Cheek To Cheek; Second Chance; Oh, You Crazy Moon; Strange; Moonray; Twilight World; I've Got Just About Everything; April Fooled Me; Almost In Your Arms.

Personnel: Mark Christian Miller: vocals; Josh Nelson: piano; Larry Koonse: guitar; Ron Stout: trumpet; Bob Sheppard: bass clarinet; Dave Robaire: bass; Sammy Miller: drums; Billy Hulting: percussion.

Title: Crazy Moon | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Sliding Jazz Door Productions


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