Gallo is a likeable jazz-pop singer with a strong voice and a cool swagger that suits him whether he is singing an old ballad or something more modern.
Although he covers several trusty standards, he quickly proves to be more than a retro-crooner. Gallo’s interpretations have a fresh, energetic quality to them.
His varied musical influences include Louis Armstrong, Joe Williams, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Kurt Elling.
Gallo said one of his goals with the CD was to appeal to a wider ranger of listeners than a typical jazz album might reach without falling into the smooth-jazz category. He achieves this by covering a lot of territory from Waller to Ellington to Steely Dan.
Another move that Gallo made on his first trip into the studio was to surround himself with familiar faces. Most of the musicians featured on the recording are from his working group that performs around Massachusetts and New Hampshire. "I wanted the record to sound like a group effort," he said. ".... My approach is to be one of the players in the band."
With so much live experience behind them, very few takes were necessary, according to Gallo.
The CD features the well-traveled "Night & Day" and "Autumn Leaves," but a highlight is a rousing rendition of Fats Waller’s "Ain’t Misbehavin.’" Listen to the ways that Gallo sings the line "saving my love for you."
The group also delivers a lively version of Duke Ellington’s "Mood Indigo" that features a New Orleans-style sound. From there, Gallo creates a nice tropical island vibe with "St. Thomas."
He also delivers a palatable version of Steely Dan’s "Black Cow," capturing much of that band’s sophisticated sound.
All the way around, "Something To Say" is a strong, entertaining debut.