326

John Proulx: Moon and Sand

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
John Proulx: Moon and Sand Los Angeles-native pianist/singer/composer John Proulx possesses the most thrillingly androgynous voice since Chet Baker whispered "My Funny Valentine. The comparison cannot stop there. Both Baker and Proulx nominally hail from the Midwest (Baker from Oklahoma, Proulx from Michigan). Both men sing with a vibrato-less high tenor; and both men gravitated to the same corner of the American musical canon.

But there is where the similarities end. To dispense with the necessary Chet Baker comparisons from the get go, John Proulx is light years ahead of Baker as an expressive singer, and his classically trained pianism permits him to be a superior musician and composer.

Proulx's debut recording, Moon and Sand, is part of MaxJazz's vocal piano series, whose previous releases have included Dena DeRose's A Walk in the Park (2005) and Patti Wicks' Love Locked Out (2003). Veteran bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Joe LaBarbera join Proulx for this recital.

What's most striking up front is the overt expressiveness of Proulx's voice. It is a pretty instrument, in the same way as the late Bobby Short's and Jimmy Scott's voices. It is a purely distilled spirit able to convey all emotions in the same way that stem cells convey all subsequent cell types, fundamental and basic. This element is best expressed on the disc's slower ballads, such as "Moon and Sand, "Alice in Wonderland, and the Proulx compositions "My Love for You and "Stuck in a Dream with Me (the ostensible redux for Baker's "Deep in a Dream ).

Proulx's pianism is best heard on up-tempo pieces like "I've Never Been In Love Before and "You'd be so Nice To come Home to. His playing shines on these faster pieces, particularly during the bright solo sections. A superb recital by any name.


Track Listing: I've Never Been In Love Before; Moon And Sand; Alice In Wonderland; My Love For You; Do Nothin' Til You Hear From Me; What A Difference A Day Makes; Stuck In A Dream With Me; There Is No Greater Love; I Should Care; So In Love; East Of The Sun; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; I Can't Make You Love Me.

Personnel: John Proulx: piano, voice; Chuck Berghofer: bass, Joe LaBarbera: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: MAXJAZZ | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "The Golden Measure" CD/LP/Track Review The Golden Measure
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Steelonious" CD/LP/Track Review Steelonious
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Detour" CD/LP/Track Review Detour
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 26, 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!