Larry Wolf With Four Cats & A Canary
Whole Big, 2019
A longtime character actor and singer, this debut from Larry Wolf has the jazz enthusiast using his expressive baritone to guide us through reworkings of some of his favorite tunes alongside his esteemed Los Angeles band.
“Blue Skies” starts the album with upbeat and easy going jazz sounds and sublime clarinet playing, and this follows to the key heavy and emotive “Laura”, as well as the more rugged vocals and blues nods of “Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor”.
Near the middle, the more stripped back “Good Night Irene” recruits warm vocal harmonies and deft guitar work, while “Lucky Old Son” flows with a sage like quality and folk undertones in one of the album’s best.
Deeper cuts offer us a fun, harmonica friendly version of “You Are My Sunshine”, and the breezy melodies of “I’ll Be Seeing You”. The album exits on “Twinkle”, another traditional that the ensemble reinvent in their creative, rich vision.
Formerly the frontman for The Electric Chair Rock Band, Wolf has had a lengthy and varied career, and here he proves his creative prowess is not declining one bit. At 14 tracks there’s much to absorb here, but there’s not a dud to be found as Wolf and company offer inimitable singing and versatile, moving instrumentation.
Travels well with: Tony Bennett- To My Wonderful One; Bing Crosby– That’s Jazz