Doug Munro is the great nephew of Harry Warren who was the first major American songwriter to compose specifically for films. All the tunes on this CD are from movies with the exception of two Munro originals, "Blues For Harry" and "You Again" and barring those two and "Nagasaki," were all written in the 1930s and 1940s.
The music is played in the swinging style of The Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France, whose most famous stars, Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, were surely the greatest innovators of this genre. The recordings were organised in four sessions between June and August 2016, with notable guitarist Howard Alden present on "Serenade In Blue" and "Lullaby Of Broadway."
"Nagasaki" and "We're In The Money" include vocals copying a megaphone style of singing that do nothing to improve the songs and might well irritate. "Chatanooga Choo Choo" is fun and the ensemble arrangement of three guitars is rather effective. "The More I See You" contains some good swirling guitar soloing.
There's a nice, rather touching (albeit surprising) nod to Jimi Hendrix on "September In The Rain" where the last few bars emulate the ending of Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary." "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" fairly cracks along and is a reminder of just how many memorable and successful songs Warren wrote. He actually composed over eight hundred! The closer is "At Last" which opens with some delicate harmonics and solo guitar. This is a pleasant session of well-loved tunes. It isn't groundbreaking, but then that wasn't the intention, rather to revere the memory of one of the most prodigious contributors to the great American songbook.
Track Listing: Lullaby Of Broadway; (I’ve Got A Girl In) Kalamazoo; Serenade In Blue;
Nagasaki; Jeepers Peepers; I Only Have Eyes For You; Chattanooga
Choo Choo; The More I See You; September In The Rain; Blues For
Harry; Forty Second Street; We’re In The Money; Boulevard Of Broken
Dreams; You Again; You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby; At Last.
Personnel: Doug Munro, Howard Alden, Vinny Raniolo, Ernesto Pugliese, Ted
Gottsegen: guitar; Andrei Matorin, Howie Bujese: violin; Matt Dwonszyk,
Michael Goetz: bass.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.