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With the exception of two tunes, Jack Michaels has selected an agenda of mostly tried and true standards all of which have been recorded many times before by many great jazz artists. So what one looks for in an album like this is something fresh or above the ordinary, a special stamp on the material unique to the artist. Michaels tries hard, but doesn't quite make it. Rather, this album replicates a performance one might hear in a suburban supper club by a small group with singer. And even though the singer has a pleasant voice and good phrasing, he still might have trouble being heard over the conversation, tinkling of glasses and other extraneous noises coming from those having a night out.
Michaels has been fortunate to have with him a fine group of musicians who are sympathetic to his cause. Since there's no piano, the major accompaniment falls to the guitar of Carl Barry and lays down a nice cushion of chords on which Michael's voice can settle. Former Stan Kenton band member, Pete Chivily handles the bass duties nicely, and drummer George Hooks is on three tracks. Michaels doubles on alto on such cuts as "You'd Be So Nice to Home Come to". Ironically, one of the better tracks on the album is not a standard, but "Ready to Take a Chance Again", a tune favored by Barry Manilow.
Despite their efforts, the group can't manage to lift this album out of the realm of the ordinary. But sometimes ordinary is good, too.
Track Listing: Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful; When Sunny Gets Blue*; Ready to Take a Chance Again; I Should Care*; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to*; Young and Foolish; Back Home Again in Indiana; The Touch of Your Lips; I Concentrate on You; There Will Never Be Another You; I'm Old Fashioned
Personnel: Jack Michaels - Vocals/Alto Sax; Pete Chivily - Bass; Carl Barry - Guitar; George Hooks* -Drums
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.