Search - Gary LeMel :: Moonlighting

Moonlighting
Gary LeMel
Moonlighting
Genres: Jazz, Pop
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

It's not every day that a jazz singer admits to being influenced and inspired by Bobby Darrin, but Gary LeMel is not your everyday guy. With the help of Darrin arranger Roger Kellaway and producer Bobby Colomby, he teams u...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Gary LeMel
Title: Moonlighting
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Atlantic / Wea
Original Release Date: 3/23/1999
Release Date: 3/23/1999
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Smooth Jazz, Vocal Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 075678317828

Synopsis

Amazon.com
It's not every day that a jazz singer admits to being influenced and inspired by Bobby Darrin, but Gary LeMel is not your everyday guy. With the help of Darrin arranger Roger Kellaway and producer Bobby Colomby, he teams up with a stellar group of New York City musicians to offer his twist on "Mack the Knife," "Beyond the Sea," and a wide assortment of classic show tunes and standards. Armed with both panache and sincerity, LeMel's husky baritone aims to respect the "honesty of the lyric and the integrity of the melody," and he succeeds admirably, aided considerably by the likes of Elvin Jones, the Brecker Brothers, and Grady Tate. There's an unmistakable air of homage throughout this recording, forcing one to reassess the abilities of Bobby Darrin. Beneath the finger-popping exterior was a solid craftsman, and, in similar fashion on this Hollywood-meets-New York extravaganza, Gary Le Mel's respectful renderings dovetail nicely with the showy, big-band arrangements. --Wally Shoup
 

CD Reviews

Skillful but flawed tribute to Bobby Darin
Peter A. Sokolowski | Northampton, MA USA | 03/18/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)

"First things first. Bobby Darin was one of the greatest, most audacious interpreters of swinging standards in American music. He certainly deserves tribute. Gary LeMel is wise not to imitate slavishly on this album. He has picked a program of excellent tunes associated with Darin, and surrounded himself with some of the best musicians in the business. He avoids the mannerism and excessive ornamentation that ruins many non-jazz singers who try to sing in a jazz context. And yet. And yet upon repeated listenings I found myself thinking that something is out of place on this album. The singer's breathiness and occasional forced vibrato drew attention to his limitations as a vocalist. The arrangements are unusual and interesting, the playing by an astonishing group including Lew Soloff, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Grady Tate, Roger Kellaway (who also wrote the charts), and Elvin Jones. Yes, *that* Elvin Jones. But those interesting arrangements--particularly Kellaway's needless virtuosity and Jones's polyrhythms--sometimes seem to be engineered to distract the listener from the singer's obvious shortcomings. I got suspicious.It finally hit me. Gary LeMel is what's out of place on this album. I had never heard of him, which doesn't prejudice me against him, but he's just simply not in the same musical realm as his cohorts on this date. But who could afford this band? And why would Atlantic, a major label, put it out? I searched on his name. Turns out he's a Hollywood film producer.So it *is* a dilettante with a dream band. A dilettante with some cash and some influence, presumably. His talent is not equal to his effort and taste. The disjunction between the voice and the context is too great. The quality of the players and charts just draws attention to the prosaic singing.In the hands of a real singer, this album would have been an event. As it is, it's a curiosity"