215

Peter Eldridge: Mad Heaven

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Eldridge: Mad Heaven "Easy listening" is a term that's often associated with bland, tepid material which serves as background fodder in supermarkets and shopping malls, but the term isn't negative by nature. Easy listening has a positive side, and Peter Eldridge's Mad Heaven is the proof. Eldridge packages charming pieces in an easy-to-swallow format that belies the sophistication behind his music, and provides an easy-on-the-ears entrance point into the world of modern jazz vocals.

Eldridge's arranging skills have always been second to none, and he demonstrates this time and again throughout this Brazilian-tinged album. Sometimes he deftly mixes alto flute and accordion textures into the music, while on other pieces he features deep horn backgrounds, with baritone saxophone and bass trombone bolstering the music. Background vocals, as delivered by a who's who of the most prominent vocalists in jazz today (Kate McGarry and Lauren Kinhan ), are anything but pedestrian, and Eldridge provides all of the polished lead vocals that have come to characterize his work.

While a similar vibe hovers over all of this material, Eldridge comes at the music in different ways. "Charmer" and "Buffet Philosophy" are delivered with a posturing attitude, and they're covered with the Steely Dan-esque veneer that has occasionally been connected to the vocalist's work. "Buffet Philosophy" also stands out for Alan Ferber's big-toned bass trombone solo, while "The Very Thought Of You" is re-harmonized and given new life, as Eldridge's mellifluous voice takes it in a more modern direction. Amy Cervini and Rondi Charleston provide supportive background vocals along the way, and Joel Frahm's silk-spun saxophone lines are a treat.

While the arrangements occasionally threaten to overshadow Eldridge's vocals, he delivers homeruns when he has more room to breathe ("I Forgot To Laugh" and "No Tomorrow"), and when he croons in Portuguese ("Voce e Eu" and "Prá Machucar Meu Coração"). Keith Ganz's acoustic guitar solos add to the immediacy of the music on "Voce e Eu" and "No Tomorrow," and Eldridge's deep and resonant vocals on "Prá Machucar Meu Coração" show off a different side of his voice.

Some people might argue with the "easy listening" tag, regardless of the positive connotation it carries here, but it's an undeniable truth that Peter Eldridge's jazz-pop proclivities and Brazilian bona fides are on full display throughout the inviting music of Mad Heaven.


Track Listing: On Second Thought (Prelude); Charmer; Voce e Eu; Buffet Philosophy; I Forgot To Laugh; Mad Heaven; No Tomorrow; Prá Machucar Meu Coração; Warm December; Betty's Bossa (Chamego); Someone To Light Up My Life; The Very Thought Of You.

Personnel: Peter Eldridge: piano, vocals; Keith Ganz: guitar; Tim Lefebvre: acoustic bass; Ben Wittman: drums, percussion; James Shipp: percussion, vibraphone; Joe Frahm: tenor saxophone (1, 10-12); Darmon Meader: tenor saxophone (9), vocals (9); Marc Shulman: electric guitar (2, 5, 9); Chris Cheek: baritone saxophone (2, 4); Alan Ferber: bass trombone (2, 4); Kate McGarry: vocals (2, 6, 9); Lauren Kinhan: vocals (2, 5, 9); Jo Lawry: vocals (4-6); Amy Cervini: vocals (12); Rondi Charleston: vocals (12); Gil Goldstein: accordion (3, 7); Aaron Heick: alto flute (3, 7).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Palmetto Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Fellow Creatures" CD/LP/Track Review Fellow Creatures
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 25, 2016
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2016
Read "It's A Man's World" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Man's World
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Day By Day" CD/LP/Track Review Day By Day
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Sounds of 3" CD/LP/Track Review Sounds of 3
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!