Reviewing a friend is hard for some...it is what it is. I have said it before and I stick by my opinion that the final chapter on the musical career of David Silverman has yet to be written. No, Silverman has not been hiding out in the jazz witness protection program but instead putting his talents to perhaps better use in Japan over the last couple of decades. This look back at David Silverman Sings and Plays Songs By: Steve Allen is ironically fitting. Allen was the consummate entertainer whose legendary career is the stuff dreams are made of. Steve Allen was also quite the musician, what he lacked in vocal chops was more than made up with his prolific song writing ability. As a vocalist, David Silverman is as good as any headlining act today and with people like Johnny Mandel in your corner then credibility is certainly not an issue.
Allen's songwriting has gone somewhat under appreciated. While other vocalists are quick to bang out a release of Sinatra covers for that all too predictable lounge lizard approach to their craft, Silverman goes deep into the Allen vaults and pulls out some gems. "This Could Be The Start Of Something Big" and "Impossible" while perhaps two of Allen's better known compositions, tunes such as "Gravy Waltz" and "Spring Is Where You Are" are equally as solid and lyrically inventive as anything flooding the market today. In fact, when it comes to traditional jazz vocals one would be hard pressed to hang their hat on anything new that is of substance. Vocal pyrotechnics that border on the more avaunt garde seem to be the order of the day. Does anyone still remember melody?
Reviewing a release from 1994 is somewhat unheard of but not unusual for this critic as I have gone back into the Blue Note vaults from 1963. Good music and great melodies stand the test of time. Unlike some flavors of the month, Silverman has managed his own longevity and much like Frank Sinatra, he did it his way. When an artist refers to his older work as drink coasters then you know that humility and a true appreciation for the business of making music is coming from that lost commodity in music, integrity. Steve Allen and David Silverman are musical kindred spirits with Allen having produced this gem. What more could you ask for?
Review? Artist profile? Call it what you will. Expect more from David Silverman in the future. Your ears will thank you for it.