All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

493

Mark Robinson: Some Small Dive

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
If you're going to go after the Great American Songbook—that is, music by Gershwin, Strayhorn, Mancini, and the like—you'd better bring some style and distinction to the table. San Francisco-based vocalist Mark Robinson does just that, indeed he does, with Some Small Dive, serving up his personal interpretations of a bunch of time-tested classics.

He's got it all: emotional depth, distinctive phrasing—occasionally a tad off-kilter, but never distractingly so—and a pure and unaffected straightforward zest of delivery. He's a vocalist obviously in love with the task he's taken on.

The disc's title is taken from a line in Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life": "I'll live a lush life, In some small dive..." You could call that tune the highlight, but the set is full of them: Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses," "A Ghost of a Chance," the Gershwins' "Embraceable You," the Henry "Sweets" Edison/Jon Hendricks gem "Centerpiece." For comparisons, Robinson's vocal style is similar to Hendricks', with a bit more buoyancy in the sound.

A beautiful surprise here is Antonio Carlos Jobim's gentle masterpiece "Waters of March." Most vocalists who cover this tune go with the Joao Gilberto hush, but Robinson puts some beef into his rendition, without losing the delicacy. Pianist David Austin works the keys with a tinkling fragility, making for a perfect accompanist/vocalist contrast.

Like the very best in this game—Sinatra or Tony Bennett—Robinson makes it all sound so effortless on this truly superb vocal jazz outing.

Track Listing: East of the Sun; Days of Wine and Roses; I've Got the World on a String; Close Your Eyes; A Ghost of a Chance; I'll Remember You; Lush Life; Embraceable You; I Keep Coming Back to Joe's; Just Friends; I'm Thru With Love; Waters of March; Centerpiece.

Personnel: Mark Robinson: vocals; David Austin: piano; Bob Blankenship: drums; Jeffrey Burr: guitar; Noel Jewkes: tenor saxophone; Mark Williams: bass.

Title: Some Small Dive | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Breaking Even Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Some Small Dive

Some Small Dive

Breaking Even Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Say It CD/LP/Track Review
Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Alchemia Garden CD/LP/Track Review
Alchemia Garden
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Don't You Wish CD/LP/Track Review
Don't You Wish
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read "Avalon" CD/LP/Track Review Avalon
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 9, 2017
Read "Together Apart" CD/LP/Track Review Together Apart
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)" CD/LP/Track Review Chase The Light (Excursions in Soul, Reggae, Funk, and Dub)
by Joe Gatto
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Long Time Gone/To Beat Or Not To Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Long Time Gone/To Beat Or Not To Beat
by Doug Collette
Published: January 6, 2018
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "All Through the Night" CD/LP/Track Review All Through the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 17, 2017