Blue eyed soul is making a come back or so they say...
I'll Take Romance finds Tyrell dialing back the soul and turning the romance up to a nice simmer as a musical happy place is found somewhere between the Great American Songbook and some forgotten R&B standards that are sure to cut a sweeping and incredibly favorable path through a diverse audience. The musical variety is kept in perfect check. As the affairs of the heart are revisited through song there is a delightful ebb and flow that begins to permeate this stellar release as I'll Take Romance begins to develop a unique sonic pulse. There are numerous potentially self indulgent musical trip wires that could easily be found on a similar release by an artist of lesser skill but Tyrell is not attempting to do a riff on Sinatra or Martin. Steve Tyrell is simply doing a riff on Steve Tyrell and here is where the releases pays off well.
"At Last" is the epitome of style, grace and class personified. Tyrell makes old school become new cool with a version of "At Last" that will pass any jazz litmus test for vocalists. "That's All" while in the same musical vein as "At Last"continues to be the standard bearer that most vocalists can only aspire to. Elegance simply does not go out of style as is proven with Tyrell's take on (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons. Perhaps one of the real surprises of the release is the duet with Judith Hill on "I'll Take Romance." Hill's blues infused tone is a perfect match for Tyrell, combine phrasing along with a subtle yet smoldering swing then you have a brand new standard. The true measure of an artist is to take the work of another and place your own indelible mark on the tune without disrespecting either yourself or the original artist. As usual, Tyrell succeeds at will here.
Does Steve Tyrell cut any new musical ground here? Not really. Does he need to? No. Reinventing the musical wheel has never been Steve Tyrell's bag nor does it need to be. Tyrell is not just a singer and has moved well past the tag of vocalist. Steve Tyrell is one of the top flight vocal story tellers of our time. I'll Take Romance is simply Steve Tyrell taking a good thing and making it even better.
5 Huge Stars. One of the most entertaining releases across any genre for 2012
Personnel: Steve Tyrell: vocals; Quinn Johnson: piano; Bob Mann:guitars; Zev Katz: bass; Allen Schwartzberg: drums; David Mann: sax solo; Darryl Tookes, LaTanya Hall: background vocals; Alan Pasqua: piano; Bob Magnusson: bass; John Guerin:drums; David Finck: bass; Kevin Winard: drums; Randy Brecker, David Mann: solos; Andy Erzin: piano, organ; Jim Saporitto: drums; Plas Johnson: sax solo; Judith Hill: vocals; David Mann: flute; Will Galison: harmonica solo; Randy Kerber: piano; Chuck Berghoffer: bass; Mike Landau: guitar; Jon Allen: synths; Ralph Grierson: piano; Chuck DeMonico: bass; Ed Smith:drums.