Tony Messina: This is What I Am

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Consisting of new and old entries in the Great American Songbook, vocalist Tony Messina’s debut spans a range of styles. It catches the subtle spice of Jobim's "One Note Samba" (including a clever piano sampling of "The Summer Knows"), mellows into the Gershwins' remorseful "Isn't It a Pity," changes tempo for "Come Rain or Come Shine," swings into a bouncy take on Van Morrison's romantic plead "Moondance" and takes a fiery jungle tour through Harold Arlen's "Old Black Magic" (complete with a Sinatra and Dorsey-esque full-swing coda), taking the listener through a gambit of emotions and styles along the way.

The only constant, it seems, is Messina's talent and care in each and every performance. Every note is considered yet free. Every song digs into its own story and lets it fly. Such is especially the case with Messina's own compositions. From the cabaret opener "Wonders of the World" to the emotional title track and the more up-tempo (though no less meaningful) "It's a Loving World," Messina fits himself at least near the Songbook pantheon. While somewhat reminiscent, Messina's lyrics add a freshness and energy often lost and laid stale in these great old standards, revealing and building upon their inner secrets.

Title: This is What I Am | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: R&M


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "50" CD/LP/Track Review 50
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Generations" CD/LP/Track Review Generations
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Transitions" CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Words And Music" CD/LP/Track Review Words And Music
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 30, 2017
Read "An Eye on the Future" CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read "Converging Tributaries" CD/LP/Track Review Converging Tributaries
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 5, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor