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James Naughton's debut album was originally going to be called "Any Place I Hang My Hat," but the title was changed at the last minute to It's About Time. The new name is appropriate not only because the 57-year-old actor has been burnishing his reputation as a singer since he first starred in a Broadway musical when he was 32, but also because he spent the four years prior to the album's release performing in a one-man show -- that is, when he wasn't acting in a play, film, or television show. Those four years show in the album, which finds him fronting a five-piece jazz band, frequently augmented by saxophone solos. This versatile unit ably handles the wide range of material. Naughton has chosen from among show tune standards by the likes of Cole Porter and Rodgers & Hart, songs associated with major singers like Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra, and favorites by contemporary singer/songwriters like Randy Newman and Lyle Lovett. There are also some character songs that give Naughton a chance to act while singing, such as the lively "My Attorney, Bernie" and the frantic "Stress." But really, he acts his way through all of the songs, which is both impressive and at times a bit confusing. Like many actor-singers, he is less interested in projecting an authentic, consistent persona as a singer than he is in creating a character for each song, sometimes to the extent of singing so differently from one tune to another that it seems there are several singers on the record rather than just one. In concert, you can see and enjoy those transformations; on disc, it can all seem a bit busy. But artists frequently try to display their range on a first album, and Naughton shows his is quite broad.
Performance CreditsJames Naughton Primary Artist
Jay Azzolina Guitar,Vocals,Soloist
Steve LaSpina Electric Bass,Acoustic Bass
John Oddo Organ,Synthesizer,Piano,Vocals,Musical Direction
Dave Pietro Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Dave Ratajczak Drums
Tim Ries Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Jim Saporito Percussion
Greg Naughton Vocals
Technical CreditsHugh Fordin Executive Producer
John Oddo Arranger,Producer
Cole Porter Composer
Cynthia Daniels Engineer
LuAnn Graffeo Art Direction