Monday, April 29, 2013

Steve Tyrell It's Magic, The Songs of Sammy Cahn Concord 2013

Hard to believe Steve Tyrell has been doing his own riff on the Great American Songbook since 1999. Tyrell is a model of consistency whose style and charm continue to wow audiences the world over. Tyrell is also celebrating a decade of headlining at the Cafe Carlyle, taking over this role since the passing of the great Bobby Short. There are some other vocalists that may get a little more attention but make no mistake, Tyrell is the real deal. When you look at Tyrell's previous nine albums, 7 cracked the top 5 and 1 landed in the top ten of Billboard's Traditional Jazz Chart. Toss in his two Emmy nominations and his work with film and television directors such as Tom Hanks and Steven Soderbergh along with artists from Diana Ross to Rod Stewart and the end result is probably the most well rounded vocal artist working today.

Taking on the catalog of the iconic Sammy Cahn is not as easy as it sounds. Cahn's compositions defined the early 60's and were in fact the driving force behind the legendary Rat Pack's repertoire. In short, Cahn made vocal jazz sexy and stylish. What allows Tyrell to succeed so well here is that the arrangements are fresh and make old school turn into new cool with an ease and grace not found in many other singers. Clearly Tyrell appreciates the value of a righteous melody and does nothing to stand in the way but instead uses his own unique talent to make these tunes his own if only for a little while. This is the Steve Tyrell release people have been waiting for. All the stars seem to be in perfect alignment with an all star band including Alan Broadbent, Lew Soloff, and David Finck. Tyrell produced the recording along with Jon Allen with spectacular results.

You know the tunes..."Come Fly With Me", "Teach Me Tonight", and "Ain't That A Kick In The Head." As a special treat the tune "It's Crazy" was added with this number being one of the last penned by Cahn and Artie Butler. Rarely if ever performed, "It's Crazy" is that special gold nugget that really sets off this release. Sophistication with a smoky finish is the trademark of Steve Tyrell and this may arguably be his finest recording to date.

Tracks: Come Fly With Me; It's Magic; The Tender Trap; All The Way; The Second Time Around; It's Crazy; Call Me Irresponsible; Ain't That A Kick In The Head; I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry; It's Been A Long Time; Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week); I Fall In Love To Easy.

Personnel: Lew Soloff: trumpet; David Mann: saxophone; Bob Mann: guitarist; Alan Broadbent: piano; Quinn Johnson: piano; Ed Howard: bass; David Finck: bass; Kevin Winard: drums; Jim Sapporitio: drums.

Catch Steve at the Cafe Carlyle in New York May 7 - 18, 2013