Pianist/vocalist Eric Comstock opens No One Knows with the Charlie Haden/Arthur Hamilton tune "Easy on the Heart," a gentle ballad featuring Frank Wess doing a slow smolder on tenor sax behind the smooth vocal flow. Comstock strikes me here as coming from the line of singers that starts with Bing Crosby and runs through Frank Sinata and Tony Bennett. He sounds cool, and he swings on the next song, "To the Ends of the Earth," with Peter Bernstein taking a tangy turn on guitar behind an assured vocal that brings Bobby Darin to mind.
A pianist first, Comstock honed his vocal chops on the cruise ship circuit, a line of work that made him... well, work, and shape his craft toward becoming one of the most engaging new vocalists on the scene.
His delivery on No One Knows has a suave nonchalance, not unlike Harry Connick's, with a cool sophistication and seemingly effortless sound. He covers some of the better-known standards"Old Devil Moon" (this listener's highlight), Ellington's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," the Strayhorn/Ellington tune "Grievin'"as well as Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" (from Still Crazy After all These Years) and the title tune, the first recorded performance of the Strayhorn rarity; and the Styne/Sondheim gem, "Small World," featuring a spare arrangement that showcases perfectly Comstock's unpretentious, straightforward vocal style.
Track Listing: Easy on the Heart, To the Ends of the Earth, No One Knows, Don't Get Around Much Anymore, Jump for Joy, Small World, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Grievin', Imagination, I Do It for Your Love, Hazel's Hips, When Lights Are Low, Old Devil Moon, There Will Never Be Anothr You, If I Had My Druthers, I Hear Music
Personnel: Eric Comstock--piano and vocals; Frank Wess--tenor saxophone and flute; Wycliffe Gordon--trombone; Eric Reed--piano; Peter Berstein--guitar; Peter Washington--bass; Matt Wilson--drums
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!