121

Roger Cairns: Let's...

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
On the heels of his recently released The Dream of Olwen (Self Produced, 2010), it is worth considering Roger Cairns' previous recording, Let's..., which was a nice evolution from his first American release, A Scot in LA (Self Produced, 2006).

Roger Cairns is a student of The Great American Songbook. Rather than wearing out "My Funny Valentine" or "My Foolish Heart," he often chooses the lesser-known of the canon, and delves deeply into the pop realm. He has the chops to do so and his greatest offering is a light, friendly voice, full of sincere humor and glee in singing. Cairns oeuvre comprises balladic love songs, though he can rip a perfectly acceptable blues when he wants to ("Stormy Monday"). "Let's Fall in Love," "They Say It's Wonderful, and "Moonlight Becomes You" all are Cairns' bread and butter.

Cairns' name commands such talent as guitarist Larry Koonse and drummer Roy McCurdy to join him, as well as his musical soul mate, pianist Gary Fukushima. Cairns attracts musicians with his same gentle approach to performance. No one is burning things up showing off technique and style. Talent and humility are in abundance, and the combination makes for an enjoyable vocal outing, one that presents its material as originally intended. The quest to understand The Great American Songbook during its creation must start somewhere and it is here.

But Cairns also has a wicked sense of humor that he exposes on the playful "Bye, Bye (Peter Gunn Theme)" and "Gravy Waltz,," both a credit to his looking far and wide for an impressive repertoire. He closes with John Sebastian's "Daydream," tipping a hat to his rich Scottish sense of humor. The song begins straight, but in an off-key Thelonious Monk fashion that rapidly devolves into a dissonant and dysfunctional counterpoint one would expect of J.S. Bach after going on a weekend bender. Roger Cairns is a vocalist deserving much wider recognition.

Track Listing: Let's Fall In Love; They Say It's Wonderful; Bye, Bye (Peter Gun Theme); Get Set For The Blues; To The Ends Of The Earth; How Am I To Know; Moonlight Becomes You; Gravy Waltz; The Face I Love; My One And Only; Things Are Swinging; Pretty Butterfly; If Love Were All; Stormy Monday; Sans Souci (Cyprus); Daydream.

Personnel: Roger Cairns: vocals; Larry Koonse: guitar (1, 7, 8, 13); Darek Oles: bass (1, 7, 8, 10, 13); Roy McCurdy: drums (1, 7, 8, 10, 13); Matt Otto: tenor saxophone (2, 4, 6, 9-12); Gary Fukushima: piano (2-6, 9-16); Ryan McGillicuddy: bass (2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 12); Jason Harnell: drums (4, 6, 9, 11, 12); Michael Shapiro: percussion (2, 6, 9, 12); Nolan Shaheed: trumpet (3); Javier Vergaba: tenor saxophone ( 3, 5, 14, 15, 16); Damon Zick: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute (3, 15, 16); Martin Sullivan: trombone (3, 15, 16); Ryan Seward: guitar (5, 14-16); P.J. Maramba: bass (3, 5, 14-16); Ryan Doyle: drums (3, 5, 14-16); Bobby Wilmore: percussion (3, 5, 14-16).

Title: Let's... | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Let's...

Let's...

Self Produced
2010

buy
A Scot in LA

A Scot in LA

Self Produced
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Shafted Album Reviews
Shafted
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Karl Ackermann
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
Confluence
By Dan McClenaghan
July 16, 2019
Read Movimenti Album Reviews
Movimenti
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read A New Home Album Reviews
A New Home
By Mark Corroto
July 16, 2019