What a fabulous set of pipes! Canadian vocalist, George Evans, sent along his newest release and it's a winner. Evans is a bit of a throwback to a wonderful age when male jazz singers were plentiful. The first few bars of the opener, The Lamp Is Low
took me back to the days of Al Hibbler, Herb Jeffries, and the perennial Mel Torme.
Surrounded by a group of Toronto's best jazz musicians, George Evans walks in the front door with a mountain of class
. There are no gimmicks, the man can sing and that's what he's here to do. How many artists ask their regular audience for input on future recordings? Evans did exactly that. He asked the crowd at the Top O' The Senator
for their suggestions. After paring down the list, a dozen fine songs made the final cut. The fans obviously know their stuff! The set includes great tunes by Ray Noble, Harry Warren, Cole Porter, Gus Kahn and Frank Loesser. It's nice to hear Gus Kahn's beautiful I'll Never Be The Same
performed with sensitivity and sparkle. The number features a nice bass solo by Neil Swainson. Swainson's work is outstanding throughout the CD. Sadly, this was the last studio session for Jerry Fuller. One of Canada's best drummers, Fuller passed away shortly after recording the album. He'll be missed! Love For Sale
features some fine piano work by Mark Eisenman and a hard-swinging vocal by Evans. It's a pleasure to discover the singer's astonishing ability to improvise intelligently.
Ending with Burt Bacharach's Alfie
, Evans exits the session with a dramatic vocal backed by Reg Schwager's lush guitar. Jazz disc jockeys will love this guy! My humble opinion? Ya gotta get it!