Three Guys to Put on your Standards “Watch List”…

I’m always on the hunt for new talent emerging in the standards arena and want to share three guys with you that I think are worth keeping track of. This is not a “top three” list, extensive review or anything like that — just three new players in the genre (new to me anyway) that I’ve tread across enough times lately to warrant pushing them into view.

I have to give top billing to Robert Davi…

…I mean the guy looks for all the world like a scary mobster and I don’t want any trouble! Interesting that his long distinguished acting career (Die HardGoonies, License to Kill … too many to name) started opposite Frank Sinatra in a TV movie back in ’77. Interesting because Davi became enchanted by Frank, his music and the standards in general and he’s now found time to translate that interest and his surprising vocal skills into a really quite-good 2011 debut album.

Robert doesn’t possess the range and unique vocal stylings of his mentor, but on his Davi Sings Sinatra: On the Road to Romance album he sort of strikes a Steve Lawrence-esk vocal pose with a sprinkling of Dean Martin over the top for spice. Good stuff.

Jersey Boy Makes Good…

Good music anyway! Joseph Leo Bwarie is vaulting off his amazing Jersey Boys tenure on Broadway with a very fine debut album — Nothin’ But Love.

JLB has a polished Broadway performer’s vocal style but does not come across in the hypo-allegenic, too clean voice that often plagues Broadway crossover artists … he swings and seems truly engaged with the material (as opposed to just rendering it).

Bwarie is accompanied by a 40 piece band that is superbly produced on the album, and also is joined by legendary jazz guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli (father of John Pizzarelli). Another fun album worth snagging and an artist worth watching.


This is going to be fun to watch…

During Steve Tyrell’s concert last week, he was talking up a new album he just finished producing by a new “kid” (he’s 37 years old) named Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. OK, I don’t know who’s got the tougher marketing campaign ahead, Joseph Leo Bwarie or Landua Eugene Murphy Jr … geez! Let’s go with LEMj to make it easier.

LEMj just won the “America’s Got Talent” TV contest (not much of a fan myself — I only know this because Tyrell mentioned it). In and of itself that’s not too terribly interesting but … as Steve Tyrell is a Grammy award winning album producer, I’m keen to see/hear LEMj’s upcoming That’s Life album of Rat Pack hits coming out 11/21.

Not only did Tyrell produce the album but he spent a couple of weeks coaching up LEMj on singing the standards (something Tyrell does OK with ;-)) so it should be interesting to hear the result. Plus, it’s just wickedly cool to see a guy sporting a Rastafarian look belting out Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin numbers! We’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out for LEMj but like I said … it should be fun to watch.

Hey, turn me on to your favorite Fresh Face newbie … I really enjoy discovering new talent plying the standards and would love to hear who you’ve found!