Perry Beekman owns the Great American Songbook with style, sophistication, and swagger!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
The follow up to the critically acclaimed So In Love finds Perry Beekman embracing the music of Rodgers and Hart with imaginative arrangements and a nuanced texture that reinvents these timeless classics for the next generation. The guitar, piano, and bass trio is not an unusual ensemble, the ability to perform with such a remarkable lyrical chemistry is indeed quite rare. While the arrangements are fresh and vibrant, the melodic intent of Rodgers & Hart is never mangled and politely pushed aside as with some artists do when seeking a self indulgent pat on the back.
As a vocalist, Perry Beekman can hold his own with any of his contemporaries. As a guitarist, Perry adds a bit of the New York panache that elevates these classics to a new rarefied level of excellence. You know the tunes and the highlights here are almost too numerous to list. "My Heart Stood Still" is pure swing, a groove you can use. A personal favorite "Mountain Greenery" is a deceptively subtle swing that attacks when lease expected while "Bewitched" is an exquisite ballad that showcases the Beekman style of literally crawling inside a tune and fully understanding the meaning of each word. A singer sings, a vocal artist tells stories. Enter Perry Beekman.
Pianist Peter Tomlinson shines on "There's A Small Hotel" while Lou Pappas holds court with a stand out solo on "Have You Met Miss Jones." Perhaps the most surprising reharm would be that of "Blue Room" adding a J.S. Bach riff without venturing off the improvisational path. Easily one of the finest trios working the more traditional side of the jazz street.
Perry Beekman raises his game and with that moves to the very top of the pack in the traditional jazz setting. Bewitched is about as close to perfect as you can find.
The street date is May 6, 2014. My advice, pre-order...
Tracks: I Wish I Were In Love Again; Mountain Greenery; Wait Till You See Her; Have You Met Miss Jones; Bewitched; Thou Swell; It Never Entered My Mind; My Heart Stood Still; There's A Small Hotel; Spring Is Here; This Can't Be Love; Blue Room; This Funny World; Falling In Love With Love; The Lady Is A Tramp.
Personnel: Perry Beekman: Vocals, Guitar; Peter Tomlinson: Piano; Lou Pappas: Bass