493

Mark Robinson: Some Small Dive

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Robinson: Some Small Dive 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.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Breaking Even Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Like, Strange CD/LP/Track Review Like, Strange
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Coalesce CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Il sistema periodico CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Code Noir CD/LP/Track Review Code Noir
by James Nadal
Published: March 27, 2017
Read Welcome to Swingsville! CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "What Doesn’t Kill You" CD/LP/Track Review What Doesn’t Kill You
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Leap Of Faith" CD/LP/Track Review Leap Of Faith
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 26, 2016
Read "Subterranea" CD/LP/Track Review Subterranea
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "True Flight" CD/LP/Track Review True Flight
by James Nadal
Published: May 3, 2016
Read "Hungarian Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Hungarian Noir
by James Nadal
Published: April 15, 2016
Read "That's What She Said..." CD/LP/Track Review That's What She Said...
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 7, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!