Be-bop Spoken Here
Tuesday, April 23, 2019
CD Review: Steve Lipman – Hats Off
(Review by Ann Alex)
I was fascinated to read that this singer works as a dentist. What is it about jazz that attracts the medical profession? Quite a few local musicians are doctors – is it the fact that jazz is maybe a more numerate and scientific type of music that encourages clinicians to play? In fact, our singer is quoted as saying ‘The creativity demanded by a fluid jazz arrangement is no less than what is required for the art of dentistry.’ Interesting! I must persuade my dentist to take up the saxophone. I digress, but maybe this is a talking point for BSH. Anyway, our singer performs throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts and this is his third album since 2011. The album is a collection of Gasbook standards, mixed with a couple of more modern songs and two songs of American patriotism.
I enjoyed the music and was even intrigued by one or two of the tracks. Lipman’s voice is a rich smooth baritone and he sings with feeling. He says he was originally influenced by Sinatra but now has very much his own style. The musicians do their stuff admirably. The album gives a ‘hats off’ to the greats such as Sinatra and Cole Porter, but this singer has now outgrown the hat he used to wear in homage to Sinatra.
Night And Day is sung to a Latin guitar accompaniment, No One Ever Tells You is a blues sung to a saloon piano accompaniment, The Way You Look Tonight features a ska beat, The Coffee Song (about all the coffee in Brazil) is a Latin number with amusing lyrics such as ‘a politicians daughter was accused of drinking water’. One of my favourite tracks is Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me to the End of Love, done as a sinuous klezmer tune played on saxophone. The rest of the tracks were: You Make Me Feel So Young; Orange Colored Sky; Come Rain Or Come Shine.
One of the tracks that intrigued me was The Sound Of Music, not my favourite song, and nor was it helped by rather sentimental backing singers and a melodica solo. Then came the last 2 tracks, in which the speech about ‘Give me your poor from all nations’ etc was spoken. I’d enjoyed the rest of the CD so I could deal with this, but I was dreading the final track, which was the Battle Hymn Of The Republic. But guess what? I loved this version, it was rock-influenced, with guitars, saxes and percussion, a tasteful down to earth way of interpreting the song, and an interesting way to conclude an enjoyable listening experience.
The CD was self-released on March 18 and is available at all fine online retailers. See www.stevelipmanmusic.com
Steve Lipman (vocals) + (on various tracks): Dan Thomas (electric guitar); Colin Jalbert (drums); J Witbeck, Reed Sutherland (bass); John Corda, Zach Cross (piano); Nick Borges (trumpet); Steve Yarbro, Ryan Emken (sax); Ryan Palkoff, Kathryn Rapacki (trombone); Nate Christy, Ben Falkoff (acoustic/electric guitars); Sara Hill (violin); Dan Prindle (cello, piano, bass); Mary Corso, Beth Harvey (backing vocals); Jimmy Robitaille (percussion); Glen Nelson (melodica); Jim Arment (clarinet)