Roger Cairns is a voice activated jazz artist who has recorded a CD entitled A Scot in LA. When listening to Roger’s album, I found his vocal style to be embracing and melodic with just a tinge of a Tony Bennett or Frank Sinatra influence. But in stating that, I must say that this recording is not a clone of anyone else’s music. Everything Roger sings is in his own voice with its own level of appeal and familiarity.
Roger Cairn has been expressing himself vocally since he was a child. From a very early age, he was fascinated by the art of singing; however, he did not actually become a singer until later in life. His professional career was offset by any number of gigs that were not directly related to music. Before he was able to realize his dream of becoming a vocalist, the road Roger traveled upon had a number of detours. In the end there is a question of why the music world had to wait so long to hear A Scot in LA.
Roger Cairns’ recording is a vignette of melodic standards and covers. The musicians he has chosen to accompany him are superb at providing the transitional landscape for A Scot in LA. Tracks such as Leonard Bernstein’s "Lonely Town" and "Things Are Looking Up" by the Gershwin brothers are testaments to Cairns’ relaxed appeal and approach to his craft. Other tunes such as "That Sunday," "That Summer" and "Never Let Me Go" provide insight into the Scot’s powerful range as a vocalist.Roger Cairns’ A Scot in LA is a dramatic display of vocalese seldom heard in jazz today. Commercial assessment dictates that this CD has no value for smooth jazz radio; however, artistically, this album is an excellent example of what vocal jazz used to be about. The interaction between Cairns and his band have a chemistry that deserves acknowledgement. When examining this recording in terms of its originality and purpose, A Scot in LA is a release that is pleasing to the listening palate, while placing Roger Cairns in a category that is complimentary to jazz as a form of artistic expression.