Here's to Joe

Here's to Joe

by Paul Broadnax
     
 
Cut from the same stylistic mold, baritone Paul Broadnax chooses to pay tribute to the late Joe Williams on his second album for the Massachusetts-based Brownstone label. Selecting a mixed play list of ballads and up-tempo tunes, Broadnax's voice and delivery are similar to Williams. After all, they are contemporaries, with Broadnax beginning his career in 1945 while

Overview

Cut from the same stylistic mold, baritone Paul Broadnax chooses to pay tribute to the late Joe Williams on his second album for the Massachusetts-based Brownstone label. Selecting a mixed play list of ballads and up-tempo tunes, Broadnax's voice and delivery are similar to Williams. After all, they are contemporaries, with Broadnax beginning his career in 1945 while serving in the Special Services of the U.S. Army. For Here's to Joe, Broadnax has chosen his playing companions wisely. Of particular note are veteran arranger Les Brown, pianist Donn Trenner, the inestimable Herb Pomeroy on flugelhorn, and the very good Fred Haas on alto and tenor saxophones. Bassist Peter Kontrimas and drummer Matt Gordy set the pulse rate for the session. The up-tempo and blusey tunes are the features of this album. The medium-paced "I Only Miss Her (When I Think of Her)" shows Broadnax's scatting skills and provides solo opportunities for Pomeroy, Haas, Trenner, and Gordy. Memphis Slim's "The Comeback" is full of humor and Broadnax himself recognizes it with a good laugh as the tune's coda. Nellie Lutcher's "Hurry on Down" is another number where everyone is having a lot of fun, especially Donn Trenner doing some funky barroom piano. On the ballads Broadnax's voice is as mellow, but not as deep as Williams'. However, strings and a French horn have been added to some of the ballads for reasons that are not clear. Broadnax doesn't need them and the result is that too often the string arrangement brings the music dangerously close to an Otis concert, (i.e., elevator music). To be effective, Broadnax doesn't need the strings getting in the way of his very melodic and lyrical voice. His "Spring Is Here" shows that he can do ballads very well sans strings. On this tune, his only accompaniment is Donn Trenner's piano. What's more regrettable is that on the very fine solos by Fred Haas, Mike Monaghan, and Herb Pomeroy on such tunes as "Darn That Dream," the string background is burdensome. With the slim roster of good male jazz singers, it is fortunate that Broadnax continues to toil in the pastures as a vocalist. Fans of good singing and of Joe Williams will appreciate this album.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/18/1996
Label:
BROWNSTONE RECORDS
UPC:
0783572961121
catalogNumber:
9611

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >