Getting back at it…

So… tomorrow is my birthday — the official end to my Christmas/New Years/birthday holiday hiatus. Hey it’s been fun to lounge around sipping scotch and cooking hyper-rich meals that would give my cardiologist a heart attack.

OK, truthfully … I don’t have a cardiologist (thank goodness). In fact, nestled in and around the Seth MacFarlane post last week, I’ve actually been doing a bunch of Vocalstandards article research and back-office/marketing stuff to tee things up for a roaring good 2012 … I guess I need to learn how to hiatus better!

Anyway, we’re getting off to a fun start to 2012 with an awesome slate of live performances and interesting new CD releases in the review queue. Venture past the break for a tease on the hot hot HOT posts on deck as we go make this 2012 thing happen.

I’m so excited…

I just locked in travel plans to make Vegas next month and catch Robert Davi at the Venetian Showroom. Robert is playing the Venetian Hotel for three nights (February 23, 24 & 25th) … I mean what could be cooler and more fun than catching RD singing Sinatra tunes in Frank’s playground — Vegas! You got time … book a flight and join me!

But first up…

This Saturday we get to see Bobby Caldwell here in Austin at One World Theatre. Bobby is one of those guys that lurks on the periphery of my standards listening and I’m really jazzed to catch him live this weekend.

There’s something special about catching a performer in a live stage experience — it just enriches the “relationship” you have with an artist … sort of enabling a different level of appreciation. I couldn’t be more excited to start off the year with these two guys!

As Frank would say, I have High Hopes…

I will be reviewing three albums in the coming weeks that look like they will be amazing … regardless if they amaze, they will certainly be interesting.

Frank leads off the record reviews with the anxiously awaited 1/17 Concord Records re-release/remaster of The Concert Sinatra the 1963 Reprise album. Oddly enough it’s not a live album at all and focuses less on swing’n ballads and more on show tunes … with a somewhat unusually orchestral Nelson Riddle driving the arrangements.

After Concord’s recent stellar work remastering the Sinatra-Basie studio recordings, I’m indeed looking forward with “high hopes” on this release.

I’ll Take Romance…

Steve Tyrell has been trying out these numbers on tour for the last year or so and he finally made into a studio to lay them down on what looks like a great record scheduled for release 2/7.

I caught Tyrell’s I’ll Take Romance tour twice last year and can tell you that this track list is awesome … what I hear from Brad Chamber’s preview plays on Martiniinthemorning indicate that Steve has not lost his Grammy award winning touch as a producer either. This — another Concord Records release — should be a big winner.

On to Paul McCartney …

Paul McCartney? Yup. Every one and their dog has crossed-over in the last few years to drop a standards album into the mix … why not Paul? You have to give it to him for one of the best album names too — Kisses On The Bottom is a great name! (And personally tugs on my heart as Dean Martin’s version of the title track was one of my mom’s favorite songs during her last days with us.)

I gotta say that my experience with guys from this era of the rock/pop genre (Rod Stewart, Robert Palmer, Sting, Elton John…) is … inconsistent at best — delivering mixed results in their attempts to render the American Songbook. So I’m somewhat leery on this release.

Then again it’s freaking Paul McCartney come down from Mt Olympus to offer an album of standards songs … if ANYBODY deserves the benefit of the doubt it’s Paul. We’ll give his 2/7 Hear Music release a go and see where it takes us.

A good start to 2012…

But a bunch more than the above is cooking off in the Vocalstandards ovens … visit often and comment like the wind; I love hearing from you.

 

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