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Lounging Around by Ron Kaplan

Ron Kaplan performs nine standards on Lounging Around, an album that originally had limited distribution, mostly at live performances. Recorded in 1999, the CD has been remastered and is getting its first shot at national distribution.

With his smooth, rich baritone, Kaplan croons his way through a strong set of familiar songs, including "Blues In The Night," "Just One Of Those Things," "Caravan," and "Moanin."

According to Kaplan, the album is made of up songs reflecting lost love and troubled relationships, but there’s "an undercurrent of redemption and hope always present."

Kaplan is a throwback to singers like Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, and others who took their time with a lyric. They understood that when they had a good song, they didn’t need to add a lot of vocal theatrics. An example of this is Kaplan’s version of "Cry Me A River." He sings it straight, and it works.

One surprise may be the inclusion of Brazilian Antonio Carlos Jobim’s tune "How Insensitive," but it fits into the set and features a guest appearance by Dmitri Matheny on flugelhorn.

The CD ends with "What A Wonderful World." There’s nothing wrong with Kaplan’s version other than it’s not Louis Armstrong’s definitive rendition. Still, give him credit for taking on the song.

It’s interesting to note that Kaplan is founder and executive director of an organization called The American Songbook Preservation Society, a group that aims to preserve and serve as an ambassador for popular standards. This should serve as a clue into the type of music that Kaplan performs.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ron Kaplan
  • CD Title: Lounging Around
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Kapland Records
  • Tracks: Blues In The Night, Cry Me A River, I Surrender Dear, How Insensitive, Just One Of Those Things, Caravan, No One Ever Tells You, Moanin’, and What A Wonderful World
  • Musicians: Ron Kaplan (vocals), Larry Scala (guitar), Guiseppe Merolla (drums), Perry Thoorsell (bass), Donny McCaslin Jr. (tenor sax), Steve Czarnecki (Hammond B3 organ), and Dmitri Matheny (flugelhorn)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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