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Gary Brumburgh: Full Circle

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Gary Brumburgh: Full Circle
Gary Brumburgh is living proof that a talented singer can sustain a respectable career in music without becoming a "star." Even though he's not a household name—or anywhere near it—Brumburgh performed in musical productions from dinner theatres to summer stock, concert stages to casinos for more than two decades before changing direction in 2003 to focus on jazz. Full Circle, Brumburgh's third album as a jazz vocalist, consists of eleven tunes he has sung in various musical productions, bedecked in a fashionable jazz wardrobe by pianist Jamieson Trotter.

While most of the songs on Full Circle are fairly well known, there are some pleasant surprises, especially "You've Got to Be Carefully Taught" from South Pacific and a pair from Tom Jones/Harvey Schmidt's lesser-known musical, Celebration: "I'm Glad to See You've Got What You Want" and the title selection. Jones and Schmidt also wrote the ballad "Soon It's Gonna Rain" from the longest-running off-Broadway musical ever, The Fantasticks. From City of Angels Brumburgh has chosen "Everybody's Gotta Be Somewhere," from Cabaret "Why Should I Wake Up," from Fiddler on the Roof "Far from the Home I Love."

There's one more theme—"Happy Talk"—from South Pacific, and a duo by one of Brumburgh's favorite composers, Stephen Sondheim: "Sorry-Grateful" from Company and "Love, I Hear" from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Perhaps most unusual in terms of its arrangement is "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" from Oklahoma!, taken at an extremely slow clip-clop with Scott Whitfield's expressive trombone underlining Brumburgh's vocal. There is one bonus track, an extended version of "Celebration," which seems to be the only number performed for an audience. Brumburgh scats on that one, while almost everyone in the supporting cast solos. Besides Trotter and Whitfield, that ensemble includes saxophonist Danny Janklow (superb on the swifter numbers, "Everybody's Gotta Be Somewhere" and "Happy Talk"), guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist Gabe Davis, drummer Christian Euman, percussionist Leo Costa and Ross Garren on harmonica.

As noted, Brumburgh isn't a "star" as the term is usually applied. Even so, he is a capable singer who breathes life into every song, knows his way around the jazz lexicon, and is backed by eight admirable musicians on a better-than-average showcase.

Track Listing

Everybody’s Gotta Be Somewhere; Celebration; Why Should I Wake Up; The Surrey with the Fringe on Top; Happy Talk; Soon It’s Gonna Rain; Sorry-Grateful; You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught; Love, I Hear; I’m Glad to See You’ve Got What You Want; Far From the Home I Love; Celebration (extended version).

Personnel

Gary Brumburgh: voice / vocals; Danny Janklow: saxophone; Scott Whitfield: trombone; Ross Garren: harmonica; Larry Koonse: guitar; Jamieson Trotter: piano; Gabe Davis: bass, acoustic; Christian Euman: drums; Leo Costa: drums.

Album information

Title: Full Circle | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Cafe Pacific Records

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