Deep Summer Music

Deep Summer Music

by Jim Ferguson
     
 

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Regrettably, male vocalists have become a minority in the jazz world. For every talented male jazz singer who emerged in the 1980s or 1990s (Kurt Elling, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Lanza, Giacomo Gates, Allan Harris, among others), there were countless

Overview

Regrettably, male vocalists have become a minority in the jazz world. For every talented male jazz singer who emerged in the 1980s or 1990s (Kurt Elling, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Lanza, Giacomo Gates, Allan Harris, among others), there were countless female singers. So whenever a male jazz vocalist records a CD, one tends to sit up and take notice. Jim Ferguson's Deep Summer Music should please those who complain that jazz doesn't have enough male singers anymore. Much to his credit, the Nashville resident is a clone of no one. Ferguson is no innovator, but he is a recognizable singer who can be sweetly introspective one minute and bluesy the next. On funky, bluesy selections like "What's a Guy Supposed to Do?" and "Walkin' the Dog" (both Ferguson originals), he hints at Mose Allison without actually emulating him. But most of the time, Ferguson favors vulnerable, introspective torch singing; Chet Baker and Mel Tormé are noticeable influences on "The Night We Called It a Day," "There'll Be Other Times," and other smoky ballads. Not that he actually tries to sound like Baker, Tormé, or anyone else -- again, Ferguson is his own man. Joined by Chris Potter on tenor sax, Stefan Karlsson on piano, and Jim White on drums, Ferguson accompanies himself on upright bass -- something that is unusual for a jazz singer. And the southerner is also unusual in that he has paid the bills by accompanying a major country-pop star: Crystal Gayle. Some myopic, knee-jerk bop snobs might have a hard time believing that a man who plays country-pop can also embrace jazz, but such thinking is nothing more than silly, mindless elitism. If anything, backing Gayle has made Ferguson a more effective jazz improviser because it has forced him to spend a lot of time focusing on feeling and emotion instead of always worrying about technique. While other jazz singers are trying to impress you with how fast they can scat their way through John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," Ferguson makes feeling his top priority on this soulful, if derivative, release.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/17/2000
Label:
Challenge
UPC:
0608917320121
catalogNumber:
73201

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