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 when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.