Recalling the years when Basie and Ellington reigned, Steve Tyrell sings standards alongside big band arrangements, strings, and in small ensemble format. His interpretation of these familiar standards certainly brings back the memories. Tyrell's singing voice, gritty and expressive, somewhat resembles the timeless delivery of Tony Bennett. Preferring to walk the straight and narrow by singing these standards as written, Tyrell relies on his accompaniment for improvisation. It's an all-star group, and their participation on this project pays dividends. Tyrell's singing, however, can stand on its own. He's a veteran performer who shares his love of the music with his audience. Tyrell swings.
Each song features a stellar instrumentalist with creative interludes. Joe Sample and Clark Terry appear often. Sample's inventions on "Ain't Misbehavin'" recall the witty Fats Waller. Plas Johnson adds his soulful tenor to several pieces, including a sultry "That Old Feeling." Sample's "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" rocks with a New Orleans shuffle step. Jane Monheit adds the female vocal part for "Baby, It's Cold Outside," but never warms up. Tyrell compensates. Sweets Edison adds a tender moment on "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and Toots Thielemans interprets "Stardust" hauntingly. Clark Terry provides some of the album's brightest moments. By supporting Tyrell with class and adding a little free spirit, the singer and his sidemen have come up with another winner. Audio samples may be found at www.stevetyrell.com .
Track Listing: It Had to be You; Until the Real Thing Comes Along; Ain't Misbehavin'; That Old Feeling; Baby, It's Cold Outside; Stardust; It All Depends on You; As Time Goes By; I Wonder; What a Little Moonlight Can Do; Why Was I Born; Let's Fall In Love; Our Love Is Here To Stay; Someone To Watch Over Me; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Remembering "Sweets".
Personnel: Steve Tyrell- vocals; Clark Terry- trumpet; Plas Johnson- tenor saxophone; Bob Mann- guitar; Kenny Asher, Joe Sample, Alan Pasqua- piano; Bob Cranshaw, Bob Magnuson- bass; John Guerin- drums; Allan Schwartzberg- drums, percussion; Jane Monheit- vocals on "Baby, It's Cold Outside;" Toots Thielemans- harmonica on "Stardust;" Bobby Ginsburg- percussion on "Stardust;" Harry "Sweets" Edison- trumpet on "Remembering Sweets;" Gary Grant, Jerry Hey- trumpet; Steven Holtman, Bill Reichenbach- trombone; Larry Williams- saxophone, flute; Dan Higgins- saxophone, flute, clarinet; strings: Elena Barere, Avril Brown, Natalie Cenovia Cummins, Barry Finclair, Cecelia Hobbs Gardner, Juliet Haffner, Katherine Livolsi-Stern, Richard Sartomme, Donna Tecco.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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