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Mark Winkler: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words

C. Michael Bailey By

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Singer and lyricist Mark Winkler has been a common West Coast sight for many years. He has released seven releases, his previous one being the very well-received duet recording with {Manhattan Transfer}}'s soprano Cheryl Bentyne, West Coast Cool (Summit Records, 2013). That recording was right on the heels of Winkler's thematically motivated The Laura Nyro Project (Café Pacific, 2013). Again, well received and making my end-of-the-year list.

Winkler returns with the clever Jazz and Other Four Letter Words, a collection heavy on shrewd Winkler-penned lyrics and carefully selected standards. Winkler excels at light, hook- filled lyrics that are both urbane and familiar. Outstanding are ""My Idea of a Good Time," "Your Cat Plays Piano," and the title piece. Pianist Jamieson Trotter arranged all and provided his sophisticated jazz vision that often manifests with complex figure sewn into the fabric of song.

Cheryl Bentyne shares the stage with Winkler on a pleasantly executed performance of Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough's "I'm Hip" which features a swing solo by bassist John Clayton. She is also present on the Rodgers and Hart "I Wish I Were in Love Again," which sports the ever-excellent Bob Sheppard on tenor saxophone. Winkler's treatment of Paul Simon's "Have a Good Time" uses the most elaborate format with a full concession of horns filling out and excellent Trotter arrangement. Winkler can swing with the best of them.

Track Listing: My Idea of a Good Time; I’m Hip (with Cheryl Bentyne); Nice Work if You Can Get It; Your Cat Plays Piano; I chose the Moon; Have A Good Time; I wish I Were in Love Again (with Cheryl Bentyne); Jazz and Other Four Letter Words; I Never Went Away; In a New York Minute/Great City/Autumn in New York; Stay Hip.

Personnel: Mark Winkler: vocalist and lyricist; Cheryl Bentyne: vocals; Jamieson Trotter: piano; John Clayton, Dan Lutz: bass; Jeff Hamilton, Mike Shapiro: drums; Larry Koonse, Pat Kelley: guitar; Bob Sheppard, Kirsten Edkins: saxophones; Walter Fowler: trumpet; Bob McChesney: trombone.

Title: Jazz and Other Four Letter Words | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Cafe Pacific Records

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