Bassist/vocalist Greg Nathan makes it perfectly clear that he would like the liner notes of I'll Think of Something to be read before listening to the disc. He wants to lay the groundwork for an intimate and proper homage to his late father, composer Charles Nathan. Joining Nathan is guitarist Mike Denny for a recital of eleven original compositions and standards. Among these is Charles Nathan's "I'll Think Of Something" from his musical "Where The Heck's The Plot," which is a real treat because of the close and personal way Nathan plays and sings the piece.
Nathan follows the title piece with the original "My Own Man," a statement announcing that he is picking up where his father left off. But this is getting ahead of ourselves. What really makes this collection of songs special is the honest and unadorned treatment within the close confines of this bass-guitar duo. Nathan is a very capable singer who immediately captures the attention with the perfect imperfection of his voice. Nathan has the voice of a lyricist: think of listening to Oscar Hammerstein or Lorenz Hart singing at the piano. While Nathan will not be mistaken for being a great singer, his singing approach is filled with a charming honesty that is endearing if not infectious.
"Georgia On My Mind," "Like Someone In Love" and "Alright, Okay, You Win" all brim with mirth and sincerity. Denny's support of Nathan is carefully tuned with plenty of time for soloing by both parties. Of particular note is the duo's performance of "I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance" where Nathan bows and vocalizes the lyrics save for the title words, which he sings while playing pizzicato. After subsequent listenings, this old Victor Young/Ned Washington song really establishes itself as a centerpiece, displaying all the talent wares of the recording.
I'll Think of Something is a recording in the vein of Paul Marinaro's Without A Song (Self Produced, 2013) which was a digital love song to Marinaro's father. Nathan's efforts are superior in their simplicity and authenticity. It is always good to acknowledge from where we came.
Track Listing: Georgia On My Mind; Like Someone In Love; I'm Glad There Is You; Alright, Okay, You Win; If I Didn't Have You; The Second Time Around; I' Don't Stand A Ghost of A Chance With You; I'll Think Of Something; My Own Man; I'm Getting Sentimental Over You; There Are Such Things.
Personnel: Greg Nathan: bass, vocals; Mike Denny: guitar.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.