Vocals On Cherry Avenue
Bruce Von Stiers
Rogers and Hart songs are plentiful in the Great American Songbook. One of those songs, My Romance, is done quite a bit as both an instrumental and a vocal piece. This song is the first offering on a new album that features both vocals and various musical instrument.
This new album is titled Cherry Avenue. It is the cooperative effort of jazz drummer Jason Lee Bruns and jazz vocalist Kevin Bachelder. The album was released on Jason's label, Panout Music Group.
The album has a couple of original compositions and other songs that range from jazz standards to pop. It was produced by Jason, recorded by Rich Breen and mastered by Dave Collins.
There are several musicians who played on the album. Daniel Dzabo was on piano. Angelo Metz played guitar. Ron Blake was on flugelhorn and trumpet. Kim Richmond played the alto and soprano saxophones along with the clarinet. Jacques Voyemant was on trombone and Edwin Livingston on upright bass. Brandon Fields played the tenor sax for one song. Of course, Jason Lee Bruns was on drums. And Kevin Bachelder was the vocalist.
As I said at the beginning of the review, My Romance is the first song on the album. Kevin has terrific, mild vocals for the song. And the music is really great. There are several solos that include a great piano.
Then there is the Johnny Mercer song Autumn Leaves. This song has been done by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Bob Dylan. Kevin has a different kind of vocal styling that makes this a unique and enjoyable rendition. Oh, there is a really, really good trumpet solo In the song.
Gentle, yet sad is a rendition of the Sammy Cahn song, I Fall In Love Too Easily.
Until I started reviewing jazz music, the only Jobim song I was familiar with was The Girl From Ipanema. I didn't know that he'd written several songs that I really enjoyed. One of those songs is Waters of March. Kevin does a nice job with the vocals and the musicians provide a nice backdrop for a rendition of this great song.
A slight surprise on the album was a Beatles song. But the song, Dear Prudence, kind of fit into the mild and gentle melodies that the album seems to bring forth.
Another surprise was the Sondheim song, Send In The Clowns. I usually hear a female vocalist do this song. But this was an interesting offering by Kevin with light vocals that transcend into slightly angst for a nice mix.
From Bjork to Bing Crosby, the Jimmy Huesen song Like Someone In Love has been covered a lot. Here is a nice rendition of the song with some really great clarinet.
One of the original compositions is It Didn't Work Out That Way. It was written by Kevin. The song is a kind of mellow blues piece with mild yet aching vocals and tough piano, sax and trumpet.
Quite a few people have done the Bill Withers song Ain't No Sunshine. One of my favorite renditions is from jazz vocalist Carol Duboc. Kevin does an excellent job with his vocal rendition of the song. The trombone solo is killer too. And the guitar and piano on the song isn't too shabby either.
The album closes with the title track, Cherry Avenue. It is the other original composition on the album. This one was written by Ron Blake. It is a rollicking toe-tapping blues piece that features all kinds of cool music and nice vocals.
Cherry Avenue was an entertaining mix of great vocals and terrific music. It is an album that showcases well the talents of Kevin Bachelder and the musicians who provided the framework for his vocals.
Cherry Avenue is available at CD Baby and amazon.com
Check out tracks from the album at www.JasonLeeBruns.com/bachelder .
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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers