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Joe Franklin, the WOR icon, said it best: “Bobby Darin fans are in for a real treat!” I had to wait till track 4 of My Tribute To That Darin Guy to listen to Stan Edwards take on my favorite Bobby Darin ballad, “Beyond The Sea.”
Even if you’re not a fan, I’ll bet you’ll recognize “Mack the Knife,” the Kurt Weill tune, previously made famous by Louis Armstrong with his Satchelmouth gravel baritone. Gary Pace ingeniously arranges a medley by following Mack with “Clementine” segueing into “Artificial Flowers.”
The swinger “Was There a Call for Me” expresses Edwards' upbeat vocalizing. “Bill Bailey,” the oldest traditional anthem – credited here to Bobby Darin for the extra lyrics, but long ago part of the public domain – adds Linda Ipanema to answer Edwards (Bill Bailey’s phrases), with Ralph Hamperian on tuba, Gary Pace on piano and Steve Little on drums all the time in the background to make it cook. Ditto Billy Gray’s horn workout on trumpet, an exciting addition to “Rainin’.”
On “A Nightengale(sic) Sang in Berkeley(sic) Square,” Edwards lets the story tell itself. It’s inescapable to recognize that the Vegas style (like Nancy Sinatra's) is present in Stan Edwards' repertoire through his pace and phrasing. If there’s one thing noticeably off-kilter on this CD, it’s the electric bass played without much of an inkling of the melodies!
They say “double is better” and Stan Edwards with vocalist Langston Werty make “Two of a Kind” a star on this CD.
From the top – “There’s a Rainbow Round My Shoulder” and “You’re the Reason I’m Living," then “That Funny Feeling” (a Darin original all before my favorite) – and beyond, Stan Edwards comes into his own on “That’s All.” If you listen to the lyrics and imagine that Edwards believes what’s he’s saying, then it’s not Darin you’re hearing, but a new male singer destined to make more music – that’s all!
Track Listing: Rainbow Round My Shoulder;
You're The Reason I'm Living;
That Funny Feeling;
Beyond The Sea;
The Mack Medley;
Was There A Call For Me;
A Nightengale Sang In Berkeley Square;
Two Of A Kind;
The Curtain Falls;
The Party's Over;
That Darin Guy.
Personnel: Stan Edwards-vocalist;
Gary Pace-Pianist, Arranger;
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.