Many singers (or those who represent them), make comparisons in their publicity to giants in the business.
“Like Ella Fitzgerald,” one might say, “(NAME) is a vocalist who…”
Or, “In a style reminiscent of Peggy Lee, (NAME) has a unique sense of…”
You get the idea.
So when I get a comparison in my head that’s sort of off that well worn track, I get a little nervous. Not that I’m necessarily trying to win anyone’s approval; rather, the fear is that I’ll be so out of left field that it will demean the whole piece.
Stevie Holland reminds me of Mel Tormé.
Tormé had a style that sounded like anyone could do what he did. Anyone with lots of practice, spot-on ability to hit the notes, an impeccable, nobody-can-touch-me sense of swing, and the confidence that says yeah…anyone can do this.
Go ahead and try.
So, so effortless, she makes it sound. The great ones do. Never so much as in this set, that opens with that Arlen/Mercer classic, “Skylark,” and glides through pieces both old classic (“Tea For Two), new classic (James Taylor’s “Another Gray Morning), and fresh – Ms. Holland’s own “Tomorrow’s Looking Brighter Today,” with husband and composer Gary William Friedman.
Grammy award winner Todd Barkan (This year’s “Best Latin Jazz Album”) produces. The backing band includes Randy Ingram, piano; Peter Brendler, bass; and Jeff Davis on drums. Trumpeter Nicholas Payton guests on three tracks, and a string quartet appears on two.
It may sound easy, but don’t try this at home, kids.
This set is very highly recommended.
Tracks in bold will be added to the playlist at 62ndStreet.com.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about Callaghan, the US-based, British-born country/pop/adult contemporary artist. “When You Loved Me” was one of the tracks I liked a lot.