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Somethings Gotta Give by Al Oxenhandler

Al Oxenhandler’s new CD is titled Something’s Gotta Give, but it could easily be called Al Swings Gently. The St. Louis vocalist grooves gracefully through a stellar set of late-night tunes, featuring the works of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer.

Most selections are mid-tempo numbers that are perfect for Oxenhandler’s easy, confident delivery. He shows his good taste with the selection of such timeless tunes as Porter’s "Under My Skin," Cy Coleman and Carolyn Lay’s "The Best Is Yet To Come" and Jobim’s "Quiet Nights."

Sure, there’s a bit of nostalgia to Oxenhandler’s smooth style, but that’s not a bad thing when re-doing these soothing numbers. The veteran performer, however, is more than a throwback. The CD includes a couple of original songs, including his playful "I Can Take A Hint." It’s a catchy big band-type number that features organ and horns. The accompaniment throughout the album is tasteful and reserved.

Porter’s "It’s All Right With Me" is performed by Oxenhandler with only Dave Truncoso’s acoustic bass. It serves as a fitting showcase for the singer’s warm voice and fine timing. Oxenhandler also delivers a cover of James Taylor’s "Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," which in his hands sounds like it was lifted straight out of the Great American Songbook rather than from a 70s pop record.

Something’s Gotta Give isn’t groundbreaking, but it is a sweet reminder about how good these songs can be. Listening to Al Oxenhandler is a pleasant way to spend an evening.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Al Oxenhandler
  • CD Title: Somethings Gotta Give
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Al Oxenhandler
  • Tracks: The Best Is Yet To Come, All Or Nothing At All, Here’s That Rainy Day, I Can Take A Hint, Quiet Nights, Under My Skin, Intro To Lonely, Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight, Wave, Taking A Chance On Love, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s All Right With Me, and All New Songs
  • Musicians: Al Oxenhandler (vocals), Dave Venn (piano), Dave Truncoso (acoustic bass), Matt Kimmick (drums), Jim Manley (trumpet), Dan Smith (trumpet), Larry Johnson (sax), Jim Owens (trombone, organ), Joe Weber (drums), Marc Frederich (piano, key bass), Dave Fowler (guitar), Blake Travis (congas), Curt Landes (piano), Sandy Weltman (harmonica), Phil Loder (piano), Bob Lowe (acoustic bass), Randy Holmes (trumpet), Tom Vincent (trombone), Curt Silver (trombone), Jerry Green (sax), and Scott Bryan (guitar)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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