Steve-Tyrell-ThatLovinFeelin-mediumI have to admit to a bit of trepidation…

At first I was jazzed to learn that Steve’s visit to Austin was timed with the release of That Lovin’ Feeling —  his new LP. There’s nothing like catching an artist performing new material he’s really jazzed about.

But when I saw the album promo materials emphasizing Tyrell singing “standards of another kind”… I have to admit I was concerned.

“Hound Dog”… Really?

After delivering 10 albums over nearly twice that many years that are spectacular exhibitions of mostly classic Tin Pan Alley standards, Steve moved uptown to 49th and Broadway on his 11th LP release … delivering 15  tracks of next generation ’50s and early ’60s era pop/R&B classics —  the Brill Building sound. [Read more…]


© Tina Tyrell

The pantheon of American Song Book writers…

In my recent Complete Ella Fitzgerald Song Books article, I called out Burt Bacharach and Hal David (others) as song writer/composers that belonged in the same conversation with the greats that Ella and Norman Granz targeted with the Verve Records “Ella Sings…” Song Book series.

I want to follow up on that because I think it’s both important and cool to view the corpus of the Great American Song Book as a living, growing thing.

Right on the heels of the generation of foundational standards writers like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, the Gershwin bros, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern and Johnny Mercer — the Ella Song Books — came another generation of equally talented composers and lyricists that took their turn with baton and pen.

I can think of few (Henry Mancini maybe?) that experienced greater success in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s than Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

As Steve Tyrell says in the liner notes of his fabulous tribute album — Back to Bacharach — Burt and Hal effectively…

“…created the modern chapter of the Great American Song Book … the new standards of the twentieth century were born.”

[Read more…]


Emerged from a bit of vacation…

…to the sad news of Hal David’s Saturday passing. Though I never met Hal (would have loved to) I feel like I owe him an apology.

Of course Hal David and Burt Bacharach teamed up for some of the most iconic music of the 60’s and 70’s — they fundamentally wrote a new chapter in The Great American Songbook.

“Walk on By”, “The Look Of Love”, “Promises, Promises”, “A House Is Not A Home”, “There’s Always Something There To Remind Me”, “Alfie”, “Raindrops”… far too many songs to note here.

The reason for my seeking forgiveness from Mr. David?

As often as not upon hearing one of the plethora of wonderful David/Bacharach numbers, I would exclaim, “What a great Burt Bacharach song”. There was no slight intended to be sure, but one was rendered just the same … and for that Mr. David, I am truly sorry.

Like his contemporary Johnny Mercer, Hal David was a rare talent — a true poetic genius that was able to capture powerful emotion and sentiment in his lyrics… and then together with Burt Bacharach those lovely poems were rendered as beautiful songs that both stand iconic for their era (60’s/70’s) and have only gotten better with age.

Many deserving tributes…

…but one of the best I think came from Bill DeMain over at the Performing Songwriter website. “Farewell, Hal David” is a very nice tribute piece wherein Bill captures Hal David’s legacy and includes a very cool slice of a Hal David interview where he share’s insight into his relationship with Burt Bacharach and the songs they created. Please link through and give it a read.

Before you head off to read Bill’s fine work, listen* to this great Steve Tyrell rendition of Mr. David’s poetry (featuring Burt Bacharach on the Piano). Sort of sums up how I feel today … Godspeed Hal David.

“I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself” off  Tyrell’s excellent LP: Back to Bacharach

[* Please remember that all songs streamed here are for REVIEW PURPOSES ONLY and are NOT intended as a substitute for properly purchased original record company product. Give a listen and then please support the artists via iTunes, Amazon or your favorite music store. Artists/Record Labels — NO DOWNLOADS ARE SUPPORTED on this site; please contact me directly regarding the removal of any potentially infringing material.] 




… just in time for Valentines Day

With his Concord Records debut album — I’ll Take Romance — Tyrell delivers the romantic goods in boatloads.

Superbly produced, this LP weaves an interesting path through classic standards, R&B numbers and blues ballads … capturing both the tortured and the joyous affairs of the heart.

The track list of classic and newer standards ride comfortably on the back of Bob Mann’s wonderful “Bacharachian” arrangements … and often his crisp, classic jazz guitar accompaniment as well.

This is good stuff. [Read more…]


The Austin summer…

…was brutal this year. We had something like eighty 100+ degree days, but it was all cool by me because I had a chance to bracket the hot, hot summer with two balmy evenings with Steve Tyrell. One back in May at the fabulous and intimate One World Theater here in Austin, and the other this past Friday night at the Stafford Centre — a great mid-size venue in Houston.

Steve was “on” right from the top, breaking the ice with a three song set from his first album, A New Standard. Before the audience (such as it was … we’ll get to that later) could catch a breath, the bluesy baritone Tyrell set the sage for the evening with signature versions of “World on a String”, “I Can’t Get Started with You” and “Sunny Side of the Street” … a great start to another top notch Tyrell performance experience.  [Read more…]


© Tina Tyrell

While finalizing concert plans for this Fall I got lucky and was able to lock another date with Steve Tyrell into our crazy schedule. It’s going to make for a fun Halloween weekend in Steve’s home town of Houston where he’s playing two dates (28th and 29th of October).

I had a chance to see Steve last May here in Austin at the One World Theater as he was rolling his I’ll Take Romance Tour up to ramming speed. It was a great show filled with all his top standards renderings, but it was made even better by the attendance of his new wife Karen (also from Houston).

Steve sent out many of his most romantic songs to Karen during the show and the big guy was clearly smitten with his new bride of just a few months! Tyrell always appears to genuinely enjoy himself on stage, but he was damn near glowing this May evening as he brought the romance in spades with “That Old Feeling”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “Let’s Fall In Love” and several songs destined for his upcoming I’ll Take Romance album. I can’t wait for it! [Read more…]