Pianist/vocalist Julian Velard and his quintet recorded this affair at New York City’s Ars Nova Theater on 3.27.03. And for those who enjoy comparisons, Velard professes the swagger, and exuberance of let’s say, a Harry Connick Jr. or Peter Cincotti. He’s a straightforward tenor, who sings these generally, grooving and lightly swinging pieces with the animation of a cabaret or Broadway crooner. Yet, it’s more or less a jazz-based album amid the sprightly jazz-blues-rock spin on Michael Jackson’s "The Way You Make Me Feel." More importantly though, Velard shines as a composer here, and he’s a convincing storyteller. The album itself is tinted with pop overtones as trumpeter/flugelhornist Jeff Pierce and violinist Roland Satterwhite provide robust accompaniment. Overall, Velard is certainly one to watch thanks to this somewhat brief yet altogether enjoyable affair.